Angelina Jolie’s new movie is a family affair!
In the new issue of PEOPLE, the 47-year-old Oscar winner shares the first images of without blood and talks about working with her sons Maddox, 21, and Pax, 18, who both worked on the Italian set of the upcoming drama she directed.
“We work well together. When a film crew is at its best, it feels like one big family, so it was natural,” Jolie says of her boys. Both worked in the assistant director’s department, which serves as a liaison between the film’s director and the other departments of a film.
Pax, who previously collaborated with her mother on her 2017 drama First they killed my fathermaking stills for this film, also focusing on behind-the-scenes footage of without blood. “[He] worked hard,” she adds.
Salma Hayek and Demián Bichir star in the drama, which production company Fremantle describes as “an unforgettable fable set in the aftermath of unidentified conflict”. [which] explores universal truths about war, trauma, memory and healing.”
It is based on the 2002 novel by Alessandro Barrico. “The book had an impact on me and on so many other people,” Jolie continues. “It carries important themes and issues to discuss.”
without blood is Jolie’s fifth feature film, and her first with Fremantle, which signed her to a three-year contract in March.
Jolie is coy about the characters Hayek and Bichir play, but promises their performances are incredible: “Salma and Demián are very genuine and brave in this film. I was a fan of their work. I knew they would bring commitment and solid craftsmanship to the film but honestly they both blew my mind.”
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Jolie says Hayek, her former co-star in the 2021 Marvel movie The Eternalswas “so raw and so authentic. She’s fascinating.”
Hayek also heaped praise on Jolie when he spoke to PEOPLE earlier this summer. She called the filmmaker “probably the best director I’ve ever worked with.”
Hayek continued: “It was a difficult film to make. And then in a way it was a joy to suffer so much [because]…she was incredibly good.”
Jolie’s four other children—Spelman College freshman Zahara, 17; Shiloh, 16 years old; and 14-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne, all of whom she shares with ex-husband Brad Pitt, 58, have not worked on without blood.
What makes her most proud of her growing children? “I’m proud that they’re all really their own people,” she says. “A very different and still very close family that learns from each other.”