Both, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were already mega stars when they co-starred in the 2005 “Mr. And Mrs. Smith”. The high-voltage encounter generated heat that interrupted Angelina’s single motherhood and Brad’s marriage to Jennifer Aniston. Shortly after divorce papers were filed, the unbridled passion of Brangelina was reported from different ends of the world.
There was love and romance. The couple had three biological children and adopted two children together. (In addition to Maddox 16 whom Angelina adopted before she and Brad became a couple. Brad adopted Maddox later.) As a couple they dealt with the death of Angelina Jolie’s mother. As a couple they have collaborated on movie projects and done a lot of humanitarian and charitable work. Finally, they confronted Angelina’s inherited cancer-prone genes and decided on a radical approach to protecting her from a potential cancer threat, together. Only the few highlights indicate that Brangelina had a strong and resilient relationship. They were happy as a couple and as a family. At the insistence of their children and after nearly 10 years of being together, they got married in 2014.
Only two years after officially tying the knot in France, Angelina Jolie filed for a divorce from Brad Pitt on September 19th 2016 in Los Angeles. Brangelina, one of the most talked about entertainment industry’s love stories has come to a sudden end. In the divorce filing Angelina cited irreconcilable differences and the need to preserve the family’s health as the main reasons. She’s asking for sole custody of their six children with a shared legal custody and visitation rights for Brad.
We all want to know what happened and considering the couple’s high visibility there is plenty of rumors surrounding the divorce. Most of us will never know the actual reason. In the context of today’s Brangelina divorce announcement, one has to wonder what inspired the movie “By the Sea” written and directed by Angelina Jolie which tells the story of a marriage in crisis…
I don’t know any more than you do, but to an uninvolved observer the divorce isn’t a surprise. Of the two spouses, it is Angelina who experienced the most dramatic changes: death of her mother, giving birth to three children, several radical surgeries. Having such powerful experiences changes a person and her priorities. It makes one feel like a survivor. It makes life more precious. It brings the importance of life, family and compassion to the forefront.
Personally, I believe that Angelina is ready for the next chapter of her life as a writer and director, but mainly as a humanitarian (perhaps even, a politician?) while Brad is set to continue his career as a movie star and a part-time humanitarian / environmentalist.
Angelina was born and raised in actors’ family. She became an actress herself early on. She spent much of her life “making pretend”. Especially over the last 10-12 years however she’s discovered not only the realm of the “real” but her power in it. She used her financial and star power to limit suffering, to help children and people in need as well as to preserve natural environment. She’s knows that she can have an impact as an individual, an artist and a role model. (She may have lost her passion for “make pretend” in the process…)
For Brangelina to survive would have taken two people equally committed to making a difference in the real world, away from the acting profession, Hollywood lime lights, glitz and glamour, and award ceremonies. But there are transformative experiences in every person’s life that can’t be shared even with the person we truly love. Angelina’s experiences transformed and made her ready for the next stage of life. Brad witnessed her experiences and watched Angelina undergo significant transformation while he himself remained… a movie star. There is, of course, nothing wrong with that. But magic survives only if and when two people are willing to transform and change their priorities, TOGETHER.
(There are rumors that Brad Pitt had an affair. Did he have an affair with Marion Cotillard – his “Allied’’ co-star – while filming in London? Marion Cotillard, who is expecting a second child with her partner, denies it. Whether there was an affair – with whom? – or not, isn’t relevant. A couple’s bond isn’t limited to the bedroom. The bond can’t be threatened by an outsider. The bond dies at home. Whether or not there is / was an affair, the breakup still boils down to irreconcilable differences. Once shared priorities aren’t shared anymore, the “magical” bond is broken.
New rumors imply that Brad Pitt has been an unfit father. It’s hard to believe that Angelina would have tolerated his alleged “child abuse” for so many years…
These are rumors, nothing more.)
Brangelina was a fairytale to Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and to us. It may be an unhappy ending of Brangelina, the artificial construct. It is a new era of power for a woman of substance.
And what are your thoughts?
Anything L.A. Magazine’s Entertainment Editor / I. Sturm