Marion Cotillard: Brad Pitt’s Alleged Affair Partner Had Praised Angelina Jolie In 2014 Interview, Worked On Common Charitable Causes

Marion Cotillard has been identified as the “other woman” who led to the end of Brad Pitt’s marriage, but the French actress actually has a long connection with Angelina Jolie and appears to have modeled some of her own career after the Maleficent actress.

Cotillard may not have a big recognition factor among American moviegoers, but her name was splashed across the internet on Tuesday after the shocking news that Angelina Jolie had filed for divorce from her partner of 10 years. There had long been rumors that Cotillard and Pitt, co-stars in the movie Allied, were having an affair that would mean the end of Pitt’s marriage.

Those rumors seemed to be confirmed on Tuesday with the New York Post‘s Page Six reporting that Angelina Jolie hired a private eye who uncovered the affair, which was reportedly the “last straw” for Jolie to end the marriage.

But strangely enough, the link between Marion Cotillard and Angelina Jolie actually goes back far longer than the alleged affair, and it seems that, at one point, Jolie served as something of an inspiration to Cotillard.

For one, the two women have careers that are strikingly similar. Both have made a name through appearing largely in independent movies and period pieces, and both have a very strong connection to international charitable causes. Cotillard is a major contributor to the Maud Fontenoy Foundation, which aims to educate children about preserving the oceans. She is also an ambassador for Association Wayanga, which supports indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest.

Cotillard is also a contributor to UNICEF, designing her own doll for the organization to support vaccinations for children in Darfur. Angelina Jolie has been a major contributor to causes in Darfur as well, even paying a visit to Chad in 2007 to assess the situation.

Back in 2014, Marion Cotillard appeared to have much praise for Angelina Jolie’s commitment to charity, telling the Guardian that Jolie had the strength to step away from acting and fully commit herself to bettering the world.

“‘I’m a nature lover, but I’m a human being lover, too. Nature will survive us. The thing we’re going to f**k up is us – and animals,’ she says. ‘Destroying what makes us live is sick. More people are waking up but it’s super-slow. Why don’t we listen to the wise men in our world?’ She reels off a list: Al Gore, French-Canadian astrophysicist Hubert Reeves and Algerian writer and farmer Pierre Rabhi. She is aware of the paradox of being both an environmentalist and a frequent long-haul-flying actor, plus the muse of Dior, part of the haute-fashion conglomerate LVMH. This is the one chink in the Cotillard matrix. ‘Campaigning and acting aren’t compatible,’ she admits. ‘That’s why Audrey Hepburn gave up acting. That’s why Angelina Jolie will give up. I’m not ready to stop yet.'”

There is still some doubt as to whether Marion Cotillard was really the cause of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s divorce. One insider told Us Weekly that the report of Jolie hiring a private detective isn’t true, although the source didn’t explicitly deny the affair.

“Marion had nothing to do with it,” a source tells Us Weekly. A second insider adds, “Marion was not the reason for the divorce, and Angelina did not hire a private eye.”

Oddly enough, audiences will soon see Marion Cotillard and Brad Pitt together on the big screen. The movie Allied, which is allegedly where the two first hooked up, will be released to theaters in November. It will be reminiscent of Pitt’s split with Jennifer Aniston, where he started a relationship with Jolie after appearing in the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith with her. The movie was released a few months after their split.

[Featured Image by Thibault Camus/AP Images]