Angelina Jolie’s miracle on the set of ‘Unbroken’

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Angelina Jolie, though not religious, discovered the ultimate power of prayer while on set of her forthcoming film “Unbroken,” thanks to her unlikely bond with a WWII hero and devout Christian.

Louis Zamperini with "Unbroken" Director Angelina Jolie. / Gracehill Media

Louis Zamperini with “Unbroken” Director Angelina Jolie. / Gracehill Media

Louis Zamperini, who died of pneumonia at age 97 on July 2, was the Olympian runner and prisoner of war survivor who inspired Jolie’s latest directorial debut. The film is a war drama based on the best-selling book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. The born-again Christian’s incredible bond with the 39-year-old Academy award-winning actress not only led her to create a film about his remarkable life journey, but ultimately would also propel her closer to faith. …

“She was not a person of faith and had never prayed before but she found herself at the very last scene of the movie … they needed sunlight to shoot this very important scene and there had been a storm that had been going for a while,” Zamperini’s daughter Cynthia Garris said at a press conference in New York on Friday.

“[Angelina] said ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do so I’ll do what Louie would do.’ She got on her knees and she prayed for a miracle … everybody saw it,” she recalled. “It stopped raining. The sun came out, a rainbow came out, she said, ‘let’s get this take’ [and] they shot the take. When she said ‘cut,’ it started to rain again.” …

Jolie recently spoke about her decision not to delve deeply into Zamperini’s Christian faith walk in the film. She explained that it was the war hero himself who requested that the faith theme be “universal” in a bid to appeal to a broad audience. “We made it universal, not specific to one faith, and that was something that was agreed upon with Louie,” Jolie said. “He said he wanted the message to reach everyone. He said to make faith and forgiveness universal … he said this is about reaching everyone and this should speak to everyone …

“Unbroken” hits theaters across the U.S. on Christmas day.


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