Angelina Jolie says her feature directorial debut, "In the Land of Blood and Honey," was a chance for her to educate herself on a serious situation that has stuck with her for years.
"Bosnia has always been a situation and a conflict that I'd never been completely able to understand, so it was also a chance for me to dip deeper and learn and educate myself on the concept," she told Access Hollywood at the movie's premiere in New York City on Monday night.
"It was just the combination of 10 years of traveling and the frustrations and all the questions in my mind," she said of the drama/romance movie set in the war-torn nation. "Trying to get those questions out into the world and try to search for answers."
The 36-year-old star and mother of six also enjoyed the perks of getting to stay behind the camera on the film that she also wrote.
"It was wonderful. I never had to go to hair and makeup and I got to hang out with the crew," she explained, noting that the movie's star is actress Zana Marjanovic. "I got to shine the spotlight on extraordinary actors... Zana is the movie star tonight. She is so deserving and so extraordinary - it's thrilling."
Angelina said longtime partner Brad Pitt was very supportive during the filmmaking process, but there was one thing she kept from him.
"Not in the writing. In the writing, I was very shy, but then we got closer into production, he was always very helpful. He came to set a lot and supported me," she said of the script, which she also didn't tell her actors that she had written until after they had read it and offered their feedback.
Angelina's leading man also took photographs of the filmmaking process, something fans might see down the road.
"They're gorgeous pictures, and they'll be released at some point. They're really gorgeous," Angelina added.
"In the Land of Blood and Honey" opens in theaters on December 23.
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