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Watch Angelina Jolie discuss the true story behind 'Unbroken'

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For Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, telling the story of Olympian and World War II veteran Louis Zamperini became more than just the culmination of a 50-year journey to the big screen. It became about honoring the man whose story it tells.

In a new featurette for the film, Jolie and the movie’s real-life inspiration, Louis Zamperini, discuss their desire to tell Zamperini’s story and what that opportunity offers them.

Jack O’Connell stars in the film as Zamperini, who spent 47 days on a raft after surviving a plane crash, only to be found and held in a Japanese POW camp for more than two years.

Along the way of the film’s production, Unbroken turned became a memorial to Zamperini, as he passed away earlier this year on July 4.

Unbroken opens in theaters on Dec. 25. Read EW‘s cover story about the film to hear more from Jolie and star Jack O’Connell.