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'Brand-gelina' gets another plug as supercouple hitched

AFP

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrive at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California on May 28, 2014Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrive at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California on May 28, 2014

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrive at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California on May 28, 2014Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrive at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California on May 28, 2014

Brad and Angelina: it is rare that celebrities can be instantly recognized by their first names. It's even rarer that two can be immediately identified by one moniker.

But "Brangelina" has become the brand name for the hyper celebrity couple -- and humanitarian campaign team -- which is Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who announced Thursday that they have finally tied the knot.

"It should be called Brand-gelina," Robert Thompson, professor of popular culture at Syracuse University, told AFP, adding: "They are in a category of their own."

"If either one of them never made another movie ... they've got themselves into the status almost of elder statespersons, even thought they're still young and hot and all the rest of it," he added.

The Tinseltown royal couple -- he is 50 years old, she is 39 -- fell in love on the set of 2005 action film "Mr & Mrs Smith," although they didn't get engaged until 2012.

They instantly became tabloid fodder, with journalists fascinated by the voluptuous and tattoed Jolie, with a reputation as man-eater and who had declared herself bisexual.

Pitt was also one of the biggest actors in the world, and had been married to actress Jennifer Aniston.

- Atypical family -

What made them different from other power couples was their atypical family, with three of them own children and three adopted orphans.

Their joint fortune is estimated at over $300 million, and they are among the highest paid stars in Hollywood. Jolie made $18 million between June 2013 and 2014, and twice that the previous year, according to Forbes magazine.

To that has to be added marketing contracts, notably Pitt's with perfume giant Chanel.

They also stand out because of the diversity of their activities: Pitt is both an actor and producer, while Jolie made her directorial debut in 2011's "In the Land of Blood and Honey."

Her second feature behind the camera, World War II film "Unbroken," is due out in December.

They use their star power to promote numerous causes. Jolie long served as a goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

In 2012, she was promoted to special envoy and has visited refugees around the world, from Syria to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

More recently, she has been a vocal advocate for victims of sexual violence in war zones, co-hosting a global summit on conflict rape in June in London.

- Cancer fight -

Jolie drew plaudits last year for revealing that she had had a double mastectomy to reduce her high risk of breast cancer, saying she wanted to raise awareness of the issue, as well as battling stigma over talking about it.

The actress -- twice married and divorced before her wedding to Pitt -- took home an Oscar for best supporting actress for her portrayal of a rebellious woman in a pyschiatric hospital in 1999's "Girl, Interrupted."

Pitt got his big break more than 20 years ago with a much-talked-about shirtless eye-candy role in the hit movie "Thelma and Louise" -- as the two-bit thief who seduces Geena Davis.

Since then, he has also built a resume of varied film roles, starring alongside some of the industry's other mega-watt stars: with Tom Cruise in "Interview with a Vampire," with Anthony Hopkins in "Legends of the Fall" and with George Clooney in "Ocean's Eleven."

He has received three Oscar nominations for his acting -- in 1996 for "Twelve Monkeys," in 2009 for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and in 2012 for "Moneyball."

This year, Pitt took home an Oscar as a producer of harrowing historical drama -- and Best Picture winner -- "12 Years a Slave," in which he played a laborer who saves the title character from years of servitude.

Pop professor Thompson said Pitt and Jolie's wedding doesn't fundamentally change their star power, or their brand.

"I'm not sure it changes stuff in that certainly for all intents and purposes they were very much together," he said.

But he added: "The thing that would change is of course, what would happen to the brand if they dissolved their marrriage and they break up.

"That of course would be a very big thing."

Date created : 2014-08-28