“You can be madly in love the same person you want to kill,” Angelina Jolie Pitt — clad in a bathrobe atop a bed with a similarly dressed Brad Pitt — says at the beginning of a just-released featurette on By The Sea.
And so Universal Pictures (with the cooperation of the Pitts, of course) lets viewers in on a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the fictional, violently passionate and dysfunctional marriage #brangelina created while on their actual honeymoon, simultaneously showing their comparatively smooth real-life marital/artistic collaboration.
As Esquire notes, the couple is relatively private about their relationship, yet this film was conceived by Jolie Pitt specifically for them, and so this glimpse into their private lives seems topical (and of course media savvy) rather than gratuitous. Jolie Pitt, who wrote, directed and stars in the film, says, “When I was writing it, I never assumed we’d actually do it, so I wrote with a certain kind of freedom.”
Meanwhile, proto-Pitt says, “We can experiment and play. It’s oddly a safer environment than any set I’ve been on before. So we let loose.”
And so, to express that intimacy, candor, freedom, etc., they speak to viewers mid-honeymoon from their bed, for mid-honeymoon is also mid-shoot. (They filmed in Gozo — an island near Malta, where they built the hotel in which the film takes place.)
Here’s the film’s official synopsis:
By the Sea follows an American writer named Roland (Pitt) and his wife, Vanessa (Jolie), who arrive in a tranquil and picturesque seaside resort in 1970s France, their marriage in apparent crisis. As they spend time with fellow travelers, including young newlyweds Lea (Melanie Laurent) and François (Melvil Poupaud) and village locals, the couple begins to come to terms with unresolved issues in their own lives.
Watch the featurette: