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LONDON – On Sunday, Angelina Jolie made her first public appearance since her double mastectomy.
Jolie and partner Brad Pitt drew loud cheers as they arrived at the world premiere of his zombie thriller World War Z to pose for photographers and cameras with smiles on their faces. They then greeted fans and signed autographs.
Paramount Pictures rolled out a skulls-graced black carpet in front of the Empire Cinema in the British capital’s Leicester Square for the movie from Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment and partners Skydance Productions, GK Films and Hemisphere Media Capital.
Premiere attendees also included Pitt’s co-stars Mireille Enos and Peter Capaldi, director Marc Forster, executive producer David Ellison, son of Oracle founder Larry Ellison and CEO of Skydance, and celebrity guests Idris Elba, Tom Ford, Rita Ora, Daniel Portman and Gemma Whelan (both of Game of Thrones) and British band Lawson.
Jolie shared the news of her preventive double mastectomy in a New York Times op-ed piece last month. Pitt in a statement back then called her decision “absolutely heroic” and said: “All I want for is for her to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children.”
“I so agree with you,” Pitt told reporters on the black carpet Sunday when told by a reporter that Jolie looked great. “I was so proud before … she is always facing the problems and taking it head-on and makes it her own and finds out what her options are and makes the smart decision for her and then shares that knowledge with whomever will listen.”
Asked how important it was for him to have her by her side again, Pitt said: “I always want her by my side. We got work to do, it’s just more fun if she’s around.”
Jolie told BBC television as she entered the cinema that she felt “great” and “wonderful” after the double mastectomy. “I’m very, very grateful for all the support,” she added. “I’ve been very happy just to see the discussion about women’s health expanded, and that means the world to me.”
Discussing World War Z on the black carpet, Pitt said: “These films have to be fun. I’m so thrilled with what we have achieved here. We have taken a genre, we have bent it, we have made it original. And it was so intense – not an easy thing to do.”
Inside the cinema, he pronounced the “Z” in the film’s title the British way – “zed,” drawing much applause from the premiere audience. Promising to keep his remarks short, he simply added: “What we have here tonight is the most intense film you are going to see all summer. Have fun!”
On the black carpet Sunday, Pitt and Forster also discussed a possible World War Z sequel amid talk that the film could be the start of a trilogy. “We approached it with the thought that this film must work. And if it is a success, we will see and [maybe] set it up as a trilogy,” Forster told THR. Asked about the fact that the movie went way over budget, he said: “The most important thing is that the film ends up being really good and working commercially.”
And Pitt told reporters Sunday when asked if there would be a sequel or two to the film: “There is enough in the book to pick up if this [film] works.”
The Sunday premiere for World War Z was followed by a musical performance by Muse, which contributed a song to the film’s soundtrack, at London’s near-by Horse Guards Parade.
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