"Dateline" anchor Ann Curry (search) was surprised by Angelina Jolie's (search) now-famous reaction to using a recent edition of US magazine in tonight's interview with the star.

"I didn't want to shock her or hurt her," Curry told The Post. "But she wasn't answering the questions of how she was affected by the paparazzi storm."

Curry says that Jolie seemed genuinely surprised by the cover story which included a paparazzi picture of herself and Brad Pitt on vacation together in Africa.

Curry's interview with the film star, who has been romantically linked to her "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" co-star Brad Pitt, airs Friday night on "Dateline." (search) Clips from the nearly hour-long sit-down have appeared all week on "Today."

"I wanted to make a point," says Curry. "I wanted to listen to what she had to say about this person who supposedly made a half-million dollars just to take these pictures with a long lens. I wanted her thoughts and to give her the evidence.

"She seemed pained and she did stare at them," says Curry. "She's been in Africa for a while and came back into this media storm, I don't think she at first understood the intensity of this drama about her [personal life].

"I think she's offended by this intense interest in her personal life," says Curry.

Curry may own the most-talked about moment of the Jolie-Pitt media frenzy so far when she held up a copy of US magazine that featured the couple together on a beach. Jolie, who has denied having a relationship with the then-married Pitt, became visibly upset and ripped into Curry.

"What about this picture, a paparazzi got half a million dollars; is that right?" asked Curry.

"I have no idea," Jolie said.

"A half-million dollars. Long-lens pictures of you in Africa with Brad. This is insane. I would say it's insane. What do you say it is?" the anchor said.

"You bought it," Jolie snapped.

"I didn't buy it," Curry countered.

"But the fact is it's part of your program," Jolie said.

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