On Monday night, Angelina Jolie returned to Australia for the world premiere of Unbroken, the movie she directed here for three months in late 2013 and early 2014. It's no surprise that the presence of two of the world's biggest stars — Angelina was joined by her husband, Brad Pitt, in their first appearance as a married couple — meant a crowd of thousands lined the streets surrounding the State Theatre from the early afternoon to get a glimpse of the couple. Angelina (in Gucci) and Brad arrived bang on time at 6 p.m. and got straight to meeting the people; while Angelina split her time between media and fans, Brad worked his magic with the crowd, and at one point the stars met in the middle of the fan line and shared a sweet moment.
For Angelina, there was "no question" the film's world premiere would be held in the country it was shot in. Working on the movie, which portrays the life of Angelina's good friend, the late Louis "Louie" Zamperini, from his time as an Olympic athlete to when he fought in World War II, survived 47 days in a raft after a crash, and spent two years as a Japanese prisoner-of-war, was something Angelina knew she had to do. When asked how the experience changed her as a person, Angelina said, "I think as a person, I knew I was drawn to this story because I loved the themes, and I wanted to understand more about Louie, but I didn't realise how much I needed it, how much I needed to know him, how much he would change my life — he became one of my best friends, one of the closest people to me, and really made me think differently about life and how to survive things, and how to raise my children." In terms of what she learned as a director (this is her second feature, after In the Land of Blood and Honey), it was all the technical things, because "this film has hundreds of visual effects, shark attacks, plane crashes — all of these things. And even the races! I remember waking up one morning, thinking, 'How do you shoot a race? Like there's a specific way a director does that. I'm not sure I'm ready.' So I had to sit up for days and learn. I had so much to learn."
Also on hand for the premiere were three of the film's lead stars: Jack O'Connell, who plays Louie and on Friday received a Hollywood Film Award from Angelina; Japanese star Miyavi, who arrived with his wife, Melody, and Australian actor Alex Russell, who portrays Louis' older brother Pete. Producer Matt Baer walked the red carpet as well. They will be back together again tomorrow for a press conference at the Sydney Opera House — for now, keep reading to see photos from the big event.