Jolie walked the red carpet in Sydney with husband Brad Pitt this week at the premiere of her new movie, World War II epic “Unbroken”, which was filmed in Australia.
It was her second foray behind the camera after the critically-acclaimed 2011 “In the Land of Blood and Honey” and she said directing was now her passion and where she saw the future.
“I’ll do a few more, but I’ll be happy to let that all go at some point,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald of acting, in comments published online Thursday.
“I love directing, I’m much happier directing,” added the 39-year-old.
“I like following a project all the way through. I like spending two years on something and learning about it… I like being pushed mentally to have to learn so much and be a part of every single aspect of a production.”
She separately told The Australian newspaper that “unless I’m sure there’s a role or something I should do or (that) really means something to me, I’d rather be spending my time telling stories from behind the camera”.
Jolie’s new movie is based on the true story of a US Olympic athlete turned Japanese prisoner of war, Louis Zamperini, who competed in the 5,000m at the 1936 Games in Berlin before becoming a bombardier in World War II.
When his plane crashed over the South Pacific, he spent 47 days adrift on a raft with a crewmate before being captured by Japanese soldiers in the Marshall Islands.
He was held in a prisoner of war camp for more than two years, enduring beatings and torture, before his return home.
Jolie, who has been acting since she was a child, said her preference for being behind the camera did not mean she thought any less of acting or actors.
“I love actors, I love watching actors work, and I like to shine a light on them. I actually prefer it when it’s not me,” she told the Herald.
Since wrapping up “Unbroken”, Jolie has directed both herself and Pitt in the yet to be released “By the Sea”, of which little is known.
“To direct myself was hard, to direct him (Pitt) was a challenge and to be in the scenes with him doing very heavy, heavy drama was difficult,” she told The Australian.
“But it was also a great pleasure for us both to bust out of our comfort zones and just get back to being actors who work and fight through scenes and figure it out, and not be safe and not be sure and try and push.”
The last time they appeared on screen together was in “Mr and Mrs Smith” in 2005, during which they fell in love.