Exclusive: Pearl's Loved Ones React to ĎA Mighty Heart'
October 10, 2006

Nearly five years has passed since journalist Daniel Pearl was senselessly murdered by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002.

Now, his life is being marked by a movie version of Daniel's widow's book, "A Mighty Heart," a project carefully placed in the hands of super couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

"There's no moment that we don't think of him," Daniel Pearl's mother, Ruth Pearl, revealed. "But when we think of him, we think about the joy he brought."

Daniel's parents, Ruth and Judea Pearl, sat down with "Extra" for a rare and heartfelt conversation.

"This is difficult," his mother admitted. "It's not something; the loss of Danny is not easy for anybody to take."

The Pearl family wants the world to know they are trying to honor Daniel's life by combating religious and cultural hatred through their Daniel Pearl Foundation.

For help in spreading awareness, Ruth and Judea have enlisted musicians such as Barbra Streisand and Elton John to help them with an annual global event, called Daniel Pearl World Music Days, which promotes harmony for humanity.

They also explained that it wasn't hard to get these iconic musicians to back this special cause.

"These are people that wanted to stand up with us," Ruth said. "It doesn't lessen the pain, but it gives us some objective in life."  

Soon, their son's tragic and brave story will be told on the big screen with Brad Pitt producing, Dan Futterman starring as Daniel, and Angelina playing Pearl's wife, Mariane, in the movie based on her best-selling book.

"I didn't want to see Danny being played by an actor," Ruth admitted. "But being done the way it is being done, it's very comforting."

Ruth and Judea wouldn't say if they've personally met with either Brad or Angelina, but daughter-in-law Mariane has been seen with Angelina and the couple's children.

As for Jolie portraying Mariane, Ruth told us, "I think it's great. I think she also stands for very noble causes; she's a great person."

Now, Ruth and Judea hope that through music (in addition to being a noted Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel was a great musician) and through this new movie, minds will be changed.

"It gives us energy," Judea admitted. "We really believe it's effective."

 "We remember his life," Ruth added. "We don't remember the way he died as much as we remember his life."

If you want to hear more from Daniel's parents, tune in to the new documentary "The Journalist and the Jihadi: the Murder of Daniel Pearl," which premieres Tuesday night on HBO.



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