We have been focused on the hints she has given about the current status of her family life in her VF interview and it is of course the big topic. But more mainstream media professionals (as opposed to tabloid writers) have looked at other parts of her interview and her message. Whenever Angelina talks about how she has dealt with personal problems she said it is with the intention of helping others facing similar struggles. There have perhaps been as much if not more headlines about her mention of Bell's Palsy than about Brad. And then there is her message to other women.
i assume the key diff is angie does her own strategy and brad has like a team of advisors giving him ideas— Gavia Baker-Whitelaw (@Hello_Tailor) July 26, 2017
Angelina is going for relatability and a discussion of aging as a woman in a really fascinating way.— Angelica Jade (@angelicabastien) July 26, 2017
Revisiting those portions:
Last year, in addition to hypertension, Jolie developed Bell’s palsy, a result of damage to facial nerves, causing one side of her face to droop. “Sometimes women in families put themselves last,” she says, “until it manifests itself in their own health.” Jolie credits acupuncture for her full recovery from the condition.Lately, her skin has become drier, she reports, and she has extra gray hairs. She quips, “I can’t tell if it’s menopause or if it’s just been the year I’ve had.” The idea that she could still be anyone’s idea of a sex symbol is laughable to her. But she says, “I actually feel more of a woman because I feel like I’m being smart about my choices, and I’m putting my family first, and I’m in charge of my life and my health. I think that’s what makes a woman complete.”
Brad used GQ to offer a mea culpa to make it clear that he was responsible for putting the family in this situation -- that it was "self-inflicted." He had a checklist of his problems and failings to his family that he wanted to reveal to the public, and in so doing to defend Angelina from earlier accusations that she was smearing him. Angelina has no such need or agenda so her answers about the family were cryptic. She is not yet ready to talk about the problems they faced and how she dealt with them because they are not out of this yet. But she wanted to use the interview to send a more helpful message, stirring discussion about Bell's Palsy and about women's issues.
Proving that you really can't please everybody, while some writers complained that she said too little with her cryptic responses, some in Brad's circle apparently thought she said too much. Taking care to identify him/herself as a "Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's family friend", the concern was effectively relayed to her through an ET post -- which has been their preferred outlet for similar limited statements in the past. The friend (and likely also Brad) clearly did not want to confront her directly about it. Ever since the Child Safety Plan, they've become aware of the ways indirect communication can benefit them to avoid direct conflict.
The insistent identification of the ET source as a "family friend" is intended to forestall replaying in the public's mind images from last year when there was sniping over the custody stipulation. This, they wanted to be clear, is not his side vs. hers but someone close to both and the family who just happens to be airing concern from Brad's side.
This isn't the first time Angelina has posed or been interviewed with the children in one of their homes. Brad took photos of her and the kids in Miraval for W shortly after she gave birth to the twins and she was interviewed there. She had also posed with the children in Hollywood Hills for an earlier Vanity Fair and in Santa Barbara for Vogue. She has talked about the children in the past in similar fashion. Brad likewise talked about the kids in his GQStyle interview, enumerating his many shortcomings in his relationship with them and mentioning how they are delicate and need to have everything explained. One could argue that that was more revealing than the state of Vivienne's blanket. That interview likewise took place at home with the interviewer noting the children's bikes and dragon floatie. So there is no basis to say that "it was unexpected to see the children's lives at home exposed" or that Brad "refused to speak of them publicly." He had given People several updated versions of his drunken altercation with Maddox early on.
Of the specific quotes cited in ET, this wasn't about her saying they are all healing from the "events that led to the filing" or from "things in life" because the family friend readily spoke about therapy. So the point of concern could only be her remark that the children were "very brave" because, as the VF writer herself did, it invites follow up questions. The friend didn't want to cite it specifically and thereby call attention to it so he threw in everything else to diffuse attention.
Angelina has long been fond of describing orphaned and refugee babies as being brave and her point is obviously that they faced and had gone through adversity -- not that they were conscious of or responded to danger or threats. It is certainly possible, if not likely, that people could interpret her statement about their children being "brave" differently from how she intended. But only those extremely sensitive to how it may reflect on Brad probably noticed. Since she has more interviews ahead as she continues to promote FTKMF in festivals, they probably wanted to make her aware of how her statements could be open to unintended and unwelcome interpretations.
Brad may share some of this concern but I am not sure that he necessarily approved everything that was said. The friend knew she would not see the post herself. This was intended for those around her to make them aware of their concerns. Regardless of the validity of the concern, Angelina's side would have reason to strongly object to some of the assertions, in particular: "It's surprising that Angelina would use the children to help herself in the story." None of the instances the children were mentioned appreciably "help" Angelina and she will likely find the suggestion that she would "use" them offensive. As the writer noted, she is fiercely protective of them -- much more than Brad who is already on record as having acted contrary to their best interests. I don't think Brad would want to jeopardize the progress he has made with the kids who are all closer to their Mom and esp. with the older boys who are protective of her, for the little benefit he may get from this post. Brad knows how Angelina speaks and knows her intent. He would not want to upset her.
They both have friends who are very protective of them after watching them go through an excruciating period. Until they're well and truly out of this and they're able to express themselves clearly and openly, I expect there will continue to be wrinkles and heightened, excessive sensitivity.
It is notable that this family friend also made a point of saying that Brad hangs out with "guy friends" (they apparently thought it sounded better than "boy friends"). It was both a response to past tabloid stories and designed to discourage future ones. The friend also mentioned that "he continues to go to individual therapy and therapy with his children, whom he sees a few times per week." Recall that Angelina mentioned she "had to do a therapy meeting last night," when her father was also around, and that the DeMille is a "big jump forward for us" in their efforts "to do our best to heal our family.” Not just renting a house nearby, or purchasing an estate anywhere else, but purchasing this particular property, in Brad's preferred neighborhood, to be their new home.
The second purpose of the precise and deliberate identification of the source as a "Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's family friend" instead of "Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's friend" is to point out that the family is intact -- an extant, single unit.
Unlike ET, E has not been one of their preferred sites and it has a history of making things up. It appears much of their report (below) was simply lifted from ET's, but slightly altered so as not to appear entirely identical. As a huge site, E would be expected to have at least some legitimate contacts, but they have been caught too often with fabrications to inspire much confidence in any of their reports.
Whether its a quote from an authentic source or a lucky guess from a fake one, this sounds more like what Brad would want to be said in reaction to VF:
According to another insider, Brad "knew Angelina would be giving an interview at some point." It's no secret that everyone in the family is in therapy, "and he feels the same way she does—that they are working toward the same goal. Brad is totally on board with trying to mend the family and heal."
I am sure at some point (probably at TIFF or Telluride if not earlier) she or the casting directors will also answer questions regarding the unusual "game" the casting directors used to find their lead.
I noted in a previous post that the VF writer's comment that "She’s not the intense control freak—or at least not obviously so" sounds like she didn't try to exercise copy approval over the article. And the writer's perhaps erroneous account of the game was printed without corrections.
EXCLUSIVE: Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt's family friend was "surprised" the children were discussed in Vanity Fair. https://t.co/C3mMfgCznZ pic.twitter.com/Kp2JH1pBL2— EntertainmentTonight (@etnow) July 28, 2017
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's family friend is speaking out about the actress' Vanity Fair tell-all.
In the cover story, released earlier this week, Jolie touched on everything from her highly publicized split from Pitt last September to her Bell's palsy diagnosis to life as a single mom. At one point in the interview, she also talked about how her and Pitt's six children -- Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 11, and 9-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox -- have been coping with the divorce.
"They've been very brave," the By the Sea star told the outlet. "They were very brave."
"In times they needed to be," she continued. "We're all just healing from the events that led to the filing. ... They're not healing from divorce. They're healing from some ... from life, from things in life."
According to the family friend, Jolie's candid conversation about the kids came as a shock, as Pitt's main priority has always been to protect the privacy of their children, refusing to speak of them publicly. Because of that, it was unexpected to see the children's lives at home exposed in the pages of Vanity Fair.
"It's surprising that Angelina would use the children to help herself in the story, especially after years where both were dedicated to protecting their privacy," the family friend told ET on Friday.
As for Pitt, the family friend tells ET that he continues to go to individual therapy and therapy with his children, whom he sees a few times per week.
"He's doing great, he's doing well," the friend said. "The kids are his family. He's continuing to adjust to a new normal."
When he's not with the children, the Allied star spends his free time hanging out with his guy friends, focusing on art and enjoying music, recently making a surprise cameo during Frank Ocean's set at FYF Fest in Los Angeles.
The family friend said he's also getting ready to start filming Ad Astra, a futuristic sci-fi epic directed by James Gray. Pitt reportedly portrays space engineer Roy McBride and stars alongside Tommy Lee Jones.
Back in May, Pitt also released a post-divorce tell-all, but did not discuss the kids in his GQ Style piece.
"Both parents care a lot about their kids and being supportive of their best interests," a source told ET following the release of Jolie's VF piece. "That's all that matters. Hopefully people can focus on that."
As for how the divorce proceedings are going, another source tells ET that there is no official update but "they are on the right track." Neither is currently dating anyone.
There's one difference in Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's post-divorce interviews: The discussion of their children. https://t.co/TOUpVn9Doh pic.twitter.com/KhdmfYwuey— E! News (@enews) July 29, 2017
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie can agree on at least one thing about their 2016 breakup: "The whole family needs to heal," a source tells E! News. "Thankfully both parents are committed to making sure that happens." The actors, who married in 2014 at the request of their six kids, have largely stayed out of the spotlight after they decided to call it quits in September. Though Angelina spoke a bit about their split while promoting Netflix's First They Killed My Father a few months ago, it was Brad who granted the first substantial interview in GQ's Summer Style issue.
According to another insider, Brad "knew Angelina would be giving an interview at some point." It's no secret that everyone in the family is in therapy, "and he feels the same way she does—that they are working toward the same goal. Brad is totally on board with trying to mend the family and heal." On the whole, the actor is "doing OK" since the breakup. "He is in individual therapy and therapy with the kids. He sees them a few times a week. He is gearing up to start Ad Astra filming and has been at production meetings and getting everything going with that. He hangs out with his guy friends a lot and is trying to keep busy with his art and love of music."