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Red Carpet Confidential: Why Brad Pitt Defends Angelina Jolie

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Jun. 18 2013, Published 9:55 a.m. ET

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Even though Angelina Jolie cannot attend Brad Pitt’s premiere for his zombie-apocalypse flick World War Z, her presence looms large Monday during the Times Square-takeover event.

The Oscar winner, 38, sends dad Jon Voight and brother James Haven to support her man’s latest blockbuster.

After Brad wades out into the crowd to sign autographs and pose for selfies with assembled fans, the shaggy-haired superstar, 49, tackles the tough questions, like Melissa Etheridge’s criticism of Angelina’s pre-cancer double-mastectomy being hailed as “brave.”

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“I don’t know,” says Brad, clearly caught off-guard as Rihanna’s We Found Love (In A Hopeless Place) blares.  “Someone just said that. Melissa is an old friend of mine. I’m sure we’ll talk on the phone.”

Still, he marvels at the choice made by his fiancé and the mother of their kids Maddox, 11, Pax, 9, Zahara, 8, Shiloh, 7, plus twins Knox and Vivienne, 4.

“Oh yeah, I think it’s being vigilant, and it’s inspiring,” he says. “I found it very empowering instead of scary. It’s crazy—it’s the exact opposite.”

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Hm, what did the parents of six do for their first date way back in the beginning?

“Oh, I don’t know,” he tells me, with a sly smile.

I feel like I can read his mind as he glances away, considering they got to know each other while filming Mr. and Mrs. Smith in 2004 when he was still married to Jennifer Aniston.

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His gaze returns. 

He stammers, “Ours was a—we didn’t have an official first date, so I couldn’t tell you.”

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Despite Angelina’s absence, Brad considers her excuse worthy for missing tonight’s premiere.

“She’s got to go across the world for Refugee Day,” he says.

He adds, “We’re so mobile.”

Post-premiere, Brad heads to Catch for the World War Z afterparty hosted by DeLeon Tequila. He whoops it up with Katrina Bowden, Adam Lambert, Casey Affleck, Ed Norton and Catherine Keener before calling it a night at 1 a.m.  

World War Z hits theaters Friday.

Will you see World War Z? Tweet us @okmagazine.

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