By Breeanna Hare
(CNN) — Brad Pitt is feeling relieved.
The 49-year-old actor, who’s been described as “loving and supportive” of his longtime partner and fiancée, Angelina Jolie, as she recently underwent a preventative double mastectomy, has said it’s left him feeling pride and also a “wonderful relief.”
The past few months have been “emotional and beautifully inspiring,” Pitt, who has six children with Jolie, told USA Today Tuesday. “I’m quite emotional about it, of course.”
Jolie, 37, chose to embark on the process after learning she carries a mutation of the BRCA1 gene, which increases her risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The actress lost her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, to ovarian cancer in 2007.
After Jolie’s opinion piece about her decision was published in the New York Times on Tuesday, Pitt called his partner’s actions “heroic.”
“And I’ll tell you, it’s such a wonderful relief to come through this and not have a specter hanging over our heads,” he told USA Today. “To know that that’s not going to be something that’s going to affect us. My most proudest thing is our family. This isn’t going to get that.”
Being candid and open about her health was “important” to Jolie, he continued, so that others could know that facing such a situation doesn’t have to be frightening, but rather empowering.
Pitt’s mother, Jane, has also voiced her support of her future daughter-in-law’s decision, saying in a statement to People magazine that her family is “so very proud of Angie … [T]his means so much to our family, especially our grandchildren. We love her dearly.”
Jolie’s father Jon Voight, meanwhile, said he was surprised by her news. As he recalled to the New York Daily News, he’d just seen Jolie two days before her announcement, and he’d been none the wiser.
“My love and admiration for my daughter can’t be explained in words. I saw her two days ago with my son Jamie. We all got together for his birthday, with her and Brad [Pitt],” Voight said. “But I didn’t know. It wasn’t obvious at all. I found out [Tuesday] morning. I was as surprised as anyone and deeply moved by the way she’s handled this.”
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