During filming for her new movie "Unbroken," Angelina Jolie — who isn't a religious person — faced a directorial challenge that led her to drop to her knees and pray for a miracle.
The actress was desperately in need of sunlight to wrap the final scene in her highly anticipated movie about Olympic runner and U.S. Army Air Corps member Louis Zamperini — an American hero who was taken hostage in Japan during World War II, according to the Christian Post.
Zamperini's daughter Cynthia Garris told the audience at a New York press conference Friday about how the cast and crew were in New South Wales, Australia, when they found themselves struggling to get the lighting they needed to make filming happen.
Actress Angelina Jolie in front of G8 foreign ministers speaks at a G8 Foreign Ministers press conference on sexual violence against women in London on April, 11, 2013 to announce new funding to tackle the issue. (AFP/Getty Images)
"She was not a person of faith and had never prayed before but she found herself at the very last scene of the movie," Garris said, according to the Christian Post. "They needed sunlight to shoot this very important scene and there had been a storm that had been going for a while."
It was then that Jolie, who had few options in light of the weather, apparently decided to follow in the steps of Zamperini, an evangelical Christian who openly shared his faith before passing away at the age of 97 back in July.
"[Angelina] said 'I don't know what I'm going to do so I'll do what Louie would do.' She got on her knees and she prayed for a miracle … everybody saw it," Garris continued.
Then, the rain stopped — and that's not all.
"The sun came out, a rainbow came out, she said, 'let's get this take' [and] they shot the take," Garris said. "When she said 'cut,' it started to rain again."
Garris believes that Jolie has been profoundly impacted by Zamperini's faith and said that she believes it might have been God's plan for the actress to discover her father's story.
"I think maybe in God's plan for Angelina, she was supposed to find Louie and make this movie to find her way to a life that would encompass the Almighty," she said.
In a Friday May 9, 2014 file photo, Louis Zamperini gestures during a news conference, in Pasadena, Calif. Zamperini, a U.S. Olympic distance runner and World War II veteran who survived 47 days on a raft in the Pacific after his bomber crashed, then endured two years in Japanese prison camps, died Wednesday, July 2, 2014, according to Universal Pictures studio spokesman Michael Moses. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)
Zamperini’s life story is most certainly a fascinating one. He went from a wild child, to an Olympian, to a World War II hero — and ended up as a well-known inspirational Christian speaker. Movie Guide has more about his fascinating story:
Born the son of Italian immigrants in 1917, Zamperini was a smoker by age 5, a school bully by third grade, and a menace to society by high school. Thankfully, Zamperini was encouraged to put his talents toward more productive pursuits, such as running track. Successful in the sport and eventually known as “The Tornado from Torrance,” Zamperini was invited to train for the 1936 Olympics and eventually enrolled at the University of Southern California on a scholarship. At the 1936 Olympics in Nazi-ridden Berlin, Zamperini’s most notorious fan was Adolf Hitler. After his disappointing placement in the 1936 games, Zamperini hoped to re-qualify for the Olympic team in 1940, but the games were cancelled due to the outbreak of World War II.
A bombardier in WWII, Zamperini’s aircraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean. He and one other survivor spent 47 days at sea in a life raft, drifting some 2000 miles, only to be picked up by a Japanese war ship. The Japanese put Zamperini and his companion into their horrific prison camps, where he was tortured beyond depiction for two years. He was made a special object of cruelty by the infamous Japanese torturer known as “The Bird.”
Some have expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that "Unbroken," which releases December 25, takes a more universal approach to Zamperini's faith, though Jolie and his family members said that this was something that he, too, wanted so that the movie would appeal to a broader audience.
We'll leave you with the trailer below:
(H/T: Christian Post)