Angelina Jolie admits there was some “heaviness” between her and then-husband Brad Pitt while shooting 2015’s By the Sea.
The couple famously worked on the relationship drama shortly after their wedding, marking their first project together since meeting on 2005’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith. In a new interview, the Oscar winner, 42, admits that she made their second project together as a means to “communicate” with Pitt.
“We had met working together and we worked together well,” she told The Hollywood Reporter‘s podcast, Awards Chatter. “I wanted us to do some serious work together, I thought it would be a good way for us to communicate. In some ways it was, and in some ways we learned some things. But there was a heaviness probably during that situation that carried on and it wasn’t because of the film.”
The movie, written and directed by Jolie, deals with a couple 14 years into their marriage who are growing apart due to communication problems, intimacy issues, and fertility struggles. In the podcast, the actress ponders why she wrote the movie and what its purpose was in her relationship.
“It was something that we were dealing [with]… things happen for different reasons, and things — why did I write that exact piece? Why did we feel that way when we made it? I’m not sure,” she says. “A piece of art can be something that’s healing or something that’s difficult.”
She continues, “I’m glad we did that film because we did explore something together. Whatever it was, maybe it didn’t solve certain things, but we did communicate something that needed to be communicated to each other.”
Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt in September 2016 after over a decade together and two years of marriage. The two share six kids — Maddox, 16, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 11 and 9-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.