However, they still found a way of staying close.
"We decided to be of that time when we could imagine he was in the European theater and I was in the Pacific theater and we wrote hand-written letters to each other that were very connecting for us," she told TV Week in Australia. "He was supportive from a distance and it was quite romantic in a way."
To Jolie, 39, "Unbroken" was a project that was worth sacrificing proximity to her love. Based on the life of World War II veteran Louis Zamperini, it depicts the man's life from childhood, to his time in the Olympics, to the war and beyond. She even got to show a rough cut of the film to Zamperini before he died earlier this month.
"I brought him the film on my laptop in the hospital and it was amazing seeing someone at the end of their life watching their life unfold again, at the same time their body was shutting down,” she said. "He wanted me to make the movie to show something hopeful about the strength of the human spirit that can pull us through. He reminded me to have my surgery in the year that I did and he reminded me to appreciate every day of my life."