Jolie to quit acting for directing

A-lister Angelina Jolie says she plans to give up acting after a "few more" films and switch her focus to directing.

The American walked the red carpet in Sydney with husband Brad Pitt this week at the premiere of her new movie, World War II epic Unbroken, which was filmed in Australia.

It was her second foray behind the camera after the critically acclaimed 2011 film In The Land Of Blood And Honey. She said directing was where she saw her future.

"I'll do a few more, but I'll be happy to let that all go at some point," she told The Sydney Morning Herald of acting, in comments published online yesterday.

"I love directing, I'm much happier directing," added the 39-year-old. "I like following a project all the way through. I like spending two years on something and learning about it... I like being pushed mentally to have to learn so much and be a part of every single aspect of a production."

Jolie's new movie is based on the true story of a United States Olympic athlete-turned-Japanese prisoner of war, Louis Zamperini, who competed in the 5,000m at the 1936 Games in Berlin before becoming a bombardier in World War II.

When his plane crashed in the South Pacific, he spent 47 days adrift on a raft with a crewmate before being captured by Japanese soldiers in the Marshall Islands.

He was held in a prisoner-of-war camp for more than two years, enduring beatings and torture before his return home.

Jolie, who has been acting since she was a child, said her preference for being behind the camera did not mean she thought any less of acting or actors.

"I love actors, I love watching actors work and I like to shine a light on them. I actually prefer it when it's not me," she told the newspaper.

Since wrapping up Unbroken, Jolie has directed both herself and Pitt in the yet-to-be-released By The Sea.

"To direct myself was hard, to direct him (Pitt) was a challenge and to be in the scenes with him doing very heavy, heavy drama was difficult," she told The Australian newspaper.