“What has changed the most in my life from knowing and loving such a man as Louie is realizing the strength we possess as individuals," Jolie, 39, told People magazine, referring to Louis Zamperini, the real-life hero behind her movie “Unbroken.”
"[He] has strengthened my beliefs and taught me to focus on what is important," she said of Zamperini.
Zamperini, who died last year, was brought to life on the big screen by Jolie, who told in “Unbroken” how the famous Olympic runner and Army veteran was sent to a prisoner-of-war camp by the Japanese navy during World War II.
"I've drawn on this as inspiration and will continue to as I journey through life and the twists and turns that come my way," Jolie said of the film.
The latest twist for Jolie in her own life came last month when she revealed in a New York Times op-ed that she had undergone preventative surgery to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed because of cancer fears.
A small benign tumor was found on one ovary, but no other signs of cancer were uncovered, she wrote. Jolie’s mother, grandmother and aunt died from ovarian cancer.
The actress’ decision came nearly two years after Jolie revealed she had undergone a preventative double-mastectomy after a blood test showed a mutation in the BRCA1 gene.
“Louie is somebody that gave Angelina a lot of inspiration,” People staff writer Patrick Gomez said. “She learned that when you see an obstacle, you have to face it and overcome it and not cower to it.”
Jolie and husband Brad Pitt have three biological children and three adopted children.