By Megan Daley
Updated October 28, 2015 at 08:23 PM EDT
Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
  • Movie

Angelina Jolie Pitt both directs and stars opposite husband Brad Pitt in the emotional period drama By the Sea, and, according to Pitt, she’s “decisive, incredibly intuitive, knife-sharp” – and “sexy” – in the director’s chair.

Pitt appears on the cover of V Magazine’s winter issue, shot by Inez and Vinoodh, and dishes on the upcoming film as well as what it was like working alongside his wife again (after 2005’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith). By the Sea, which was written by Jolie Pitt and follows a struggling, dysfunctional married couple in the 1970s, was shot on location in Malta — with production beginning shortly after the Pitts’ own wedding in France.

“It was probably not the wisest way to spend a honeymoon. But then again, fighting to make something together,” Pitt told V Magazine. “What better metaphor for marriage? It’s not a film that responds to the current zeitgeist or storytelling – rather, a quiet, mature look at the challenges of love and adult loss.”

Jolie Pitt told EW of the film, “We watch this couple go off the track and we wait to see if it gets more unhealthy, or if they will recover. I think too often people go through very painful transformative experiences and they don’t stay together. They abandon each other.”

According to Pitt, he hoped to keep the film a “family affair,” mirroring the likes of Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes. “We, by our own admission, were overdue. If I’m going to work, I want to work with my wife.”

Pitt’s V Magazine interview arrives on newsstands Nov. 12, and By the Sea kicks off the AFI Fest on Nov. 5.

Credit: Inez and Vinoodh/V Magazine

By the Sea

2015 movie
  • Movie
  • R
  • 122 minutes
  • Angelina Jolie