Tom Brokaw’s interview with Angelina Jolie and World War II hero Louis Zamperini, the subject of Jolie’s film “Unbroken,” aired this morning on NBC’s “Today.” The pic, which Universal Pictures releases on Christmas Day, is her first studio pic as a director.

Brokaw put it to her that it was more than just filmmaking; for her it was personal. “You’ve got the legacy of this amazing man in your hands,” he said. Jolie agreed. “Such a huge responsibility to get it right,” she said. “I love him so much and he’s helped me so much in my life.”

Jolie explained how she came to adapt Laura Hillenbrand’s best-seller. “I wanted to direct something again, but I wasn’t sure what. It had to be something I would love and care about. It takes much more time away from your family and much more effort than acting,” she said.

Jolie also spoke about her difficulties in getting the project greenlit: “This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she said. “I had all the hours of phone calls and things, and then I made all these boards. I took my glue and tape, and pictures off the internet, and I put all my boards in a garbage bag and carried them myself to Universal, and put them out… and I pitched my butt off.”

Watch the full interview here.