Angelina Jolie: “I’m Very Grounded By My Family”

The buzz surrounding Angelina Jolie’s wrenching performance in the upcoming flick Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood, suggests another Academy Award nomination for the busy mom. This bizarre true story of a California woman in the 1920’s whose young son goes missing and returned to her by the police, reveals that the child isn’t really her son and a corrupt government conspires to keep her from finding out the truth. Angie recently sat down with Parade to talk about her new film, and of course, her highly documented family life.

On if this film makes her feel even more protective of her own kids: “We have a high-profile family, but I don’t want my children to be scared when we have to quickly get into the car because some person is running at us with a camera or something. It is a fine line of wanting them to be aware of strangers but not making them afraid. I suppose that, like with everything with children, it’s just communication and being honest with them.”

On Billy Bob Thornton’s recent comment that they’re still best friends: “I have two divorces behind me but I’m still good friends with both my exes, Billy Bob and Jonny Lee [Miller]. I’ve never had to deal with secrets from the men in my life because I’ve always married artists and they’re a very talkative and expressive bunch. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

On if this is true of her relationship with Brad Pitt: “I don’t want to spend my life pretending to be somebody else, and I don’t want the person next to me to have to pretend ever, because we have a long life ahead of us. So you just want to be able to be who you are in every moment, and that’s the only way you’ll ever be truly happy.”

On if she was shocked that the events of this movie really occurred: “I could hardly believe it when I read the script. If it wasn’t real, everybody would just say it’s too far fetched to be true. But this is about an actual woman who fought the system and found justice in the end, even at the risk of her own life.”

On if this role took as much out of her as A Mighty Heart, in which she played the widow of Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and killed by terrorists: “It was even more devastating. Certainly, Mariane Pearl lost her husband in the most horrific way. But I think even she might agree that the loss of a child and not knowing where they are or what is happening to them is probably the absolute worst thing in the world. As a mother, it was harder for me imagining that somebody was abusing my child while they were wondering why mommy wasn’t coming to save them. As a mother, that’s just the worst possible scenario. So this film was very, very painful.”

On what helped her get through the toughest scenes: “Clint Eastwood. There have been so many times I’ve worked on films that required a lot of emotion, and the director didn’t understand. They’d do 10 takes in a wide shot and you’re crying and crying. And then they’d do close-ups and you’re still trying to emote with the same honesty. Clint doesn’t exhaust you like that. He knows when to move on. And so you feel safe enough to just lay yourself bare and expose everything.”

On if she believes in the kind of mysterious turn of events that can dramatically change one’s life as portrayed in Changeling: “Only in a positive way.When I met my son Maddox, I went to Cambodia and left feeling I’d left something behind. I went back on a humanitarian mission and I felt, ‘My son’s here.’ It was the strangest feeling. I woke up that morning thinking, ‘They’re going to introduce me to my kid today and I wonder how I’m going to feel.’ And the moment I saw Maddox I knew I was his mother. I can’t explain it.”

On what helps her deal with all the fame and celebrity that surrounds her: “I’m just a mom and I’m very grounded by my family. I’m very happy, and I’m so lucky. The world can like me, hate me, fall apart around me, and at least, you know, I wake up with my little kids and I’m happy.”

Source: Parade

Photo: Bauer-Griffin, October 4

Filed under: Angelina Jolie

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