London's Leicester Square rang out with applause and cheers as Angelina Jolie made her first public appearance since revealing she had undergone a double mastectomy. The actress arrived holding the hand of her proud fiancé Brad Pitt at the screening of his new film, World War Z, and both looked happy and relaxed as they stopped to meet fans and pose for pictures.
Clearly moved by the warm reception she received, mum-of-six Angelina, 37, appeared at times close to tears. On the red carpet, she told reporters, "I feel great. I feel wonderful," and paid tribute to her long-term partner for his love and support.
"He's been extraordinary," said the actress, who looked beautiful in a
black floor-length Yves St. Laurent dress. "He's such a wonderful man
and a wonderful father, and I'm very, very lucky.
"I'm very happy to see the discussion about women's health expand, and that means the world to me. After losing my mum to these issues, I'm very grateful for it and I've been moved by the support from people. I'm really very grateful."
Brad, 49, said the experience had "certainly brought our family close together."
"I mean the beautiful thing is that, for us, life will go on," he said, adding that it had been a "very moving experience" and that he tended to "get a little emotional about it."
Of his fiancee's decision to go public, he said: "It's something she
felt she wanted to share and it's important for her that other people
know that this is available."
Angelina stopped briefly on the red carpet to hold the face of one fan overcome with tears, and took a photo with her.
One supporter also presented her with a teddy bear, which she later gave to Sophie Martinez, four, who promptly burst into tears. "It's a nice teddy," Angelina told her gently.
Last month the star announced that she had oped to have a double
mastectomy after finding out she carried a faulty gene — BRCA1 — which
made the likelihood of her developing great cancer 87 per cent. The
operation cut that risk to just five per cent.
Angelina's mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died of ovarian cancer, which is also associated with the gene, in 2007. Her aunt Debbie Martin passed away from breast cancer just a week ago, and the Salt star missed the funeral to be at the premiere with Brad.