By Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES - For Brad Pitt, today was all about his family's future.
Just hours before a Tuesday afternoon interview with USA TODAY, his partner Angelina Jolie revealed in a New York Times op-ed that she has undergone a double mastectomy and reconstruction after learning she carried the BRCA1 gene mutation, which doctors estimated gave her an 87% chance of developing breast cancer.
How is Pitt feeling?
"I'm quite emotional about it, of course," said the World War Z star. "She could have stayed absolutely private about it and I don't think anyone would have been none the wiser with such good results. But it was really important to her to share the story and that others would understand it doesn't have to be a scary thing. In fact, it can be an empowering thing, and something that makes you stronger and us stronger."
Pitt spoke with proud wonderment recounting how Jolie kept commitments in the past two months visiting the Congo, as well as London for the G-8 Foreign Ministers Conference and New York to honor Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai.
"This was during Stage 2 (when the double mastectomy was performed)," he said. "Literally it was just weeks after she'd had truly major surgery."
Back at home, he and their six children devised a way to make recovery fun. "We set up our own little post-op recovery that became pretty fun. You make an adventure out of it."
Overall, Pitt called it the experience "an emotional and beautifully inspiring few months. And I'll tell you, it's such a wonderful relief to come through this and not have a spectre hanging over our heads. To know that that's not going to be something that's going to affect us. My most proudest thing is our family. This isn't going to get that."