While Brad Pitt was shooting his World War II epic Fury in Britain, Angelina Jolie was in Australia directing her own war saga, Unbroken.
"It was a unique experience for us to be both studying the war - hers in the Pacific theatre and ours in Europe," says Pitt, in New York to promote the film.
Meanwhile, co-star Shia LaBeouf has seemingly been fighting his own war - seemingly one strange media explosion after another.
Fury is his biggest Hollywood movie since escaping the Transformers franchise.
Just as LaBeouf has returned to a film about man vs machine, it seems Pitt can't get enough of World War II - in 2009 he played a cartoonish American commando Nazi-scalper in Quentin Tarantino's irreverent, outlandish take on the subject, Inglourious Basterds.
Now Pitt is the star of director David Ayer's far more realistic take on "the last good war".
And instead of scalping Nazis, he's stabbing them in the eye, killing them after being taken prisoner and doing everything necessary to keep the five-man crew of his Sherman tank alive as it slowly clanks toward Berlin in early 1945.
"I've never seen a film about a tank division that went into such detail, and the story really follows how they operated. Das Boot is one of my favourite films because you felt you were in the submarine, and that's what we have in the tank."
Pitt, 50, stars as Don "Wardaddy" Collier, the commander of the tank nicknamed "Fury".
The movie isn't about the liberation of Europe but the preservation of the humanity of those inside the vehicle. Pitt's crew also includes Michael Pena as the driver, Jon Bernthal as the loader and Logan Lerman as the youngest, greenest member.
Says Pitt: "When I look at the film, I see us as a dysfunctional family in a wartime scenario dealing with the trauma and all the psychological baggage that comes with the horrors of war."
Spending weeks inside a Sherman tank on the shoot in the English countryside doubling for Germany gave Pitt a taste of what it must have been like.
"It's actually quite peaceful in a tank -- it's like when you put your head underwater in a swimming pool and there's all this hubbub about.
"It's a great view on top, and even though there were five of us crammed in this tin can and it stinks, you get used to that pretty quickly. By the third day, that doesn't really mean anything. And there's nothing ergonomical in a tank, but you find your little place between the bolt and the turret ring, a little place to put your coffee and it becomes a home," he says.
"And these guys, they lived in it. They lived in it for months at a time. They did everything in that tank, and I don't have to go into detail when I mean everything. But it has this strange sense, an almost womb-like sense and experience in it. Some days I would go in in the morning and I wouldn't come out until the end of the day. And sit there having lunch in it and sometimes think, 'I love my tank'," he laughs.
So did Shia LaBeouf, who plays Wardaddy's Bible-bashing second-in-command.
"The tank was claustrophobic but you get to the point, which is strange, but you get to the point where, a couple of months in there, you don't ever want to get out. I never left the tank, we did everything in the tank, everything."
Brad Pitt plays Don "Wardaddy" Collier in Fury.
In preparing for the role, LaBeouf spent time with a US National Guard unit as well as tailing a US Army chaplain to study how a man of faith reconciled his role as a soldier.
But, most famously of all, he had a tooth removed to give him the craggy face of a man who had been inside a tank for much of the war.
"For me, it had to do with coaxing myself into believing that I had the face of a man that could be in a tank for three years," he says. "If you ever sit in a tank and they move it around, it's not a sturdy thing, it's not like driving around in a Rav 4. These brakes are hard and the walls are jagged and you are going to get hurt, just being in there, not even getting shot at. So if you have been fighting since Africa, you have got to look that way. And I have always just looked at my face like, 'No, you haven't really been through this'."
Pitt's Wardaddy also sports some battle scars - applied by the makeup department. Though one or two might be from the movie's own boot camp for the Fury crew, which was run by US Navy Seals to get them in the right frame of mind before shooting began.
On set, Ayer made his cast box between takes to build team spirit.
"It bonded us," LaBeouf says. "You can only get so much out in a conversation. With a bunch of boys in that kind of setting, fighting was really intimate."
But Pitt's next wartime conflict might be a domestic one - will his and his wife's World War II movies battle it out this coming awards season?
"I see the films as distinctly different. She made an incredible movie. It's about the triumph of the human spirit against tremendous odds.
"I see ours as more of a day in the life of a family, three-and-a-half years into war ... Hers is about Louis Zamperini, this boy who came from nothing, against really great odds and it's a triumph of the human spirit. It's very inspiring in that way.
"But we are not pitted against each other."
What: Fury, starring Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf and directed by David Ayer
When: Opens at cinemas today
- Additional reporting AFP