Annually after filing for divorce from Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie talks heartbreak, cancer and Cambodia with John Hiscock
If she didn’t have a film to promote it is highly unlikely Angelina Jolie would be seated in a Beverly Hills hotel suite discussing – albeit reluctantly – about her life since separating and submitting for divorce from Brad Pitt last September.
But she actually is a showbusiness veteran and the film she co-wrote, produced and aimed, the Cambodian-set theatre First They Killed My Father, needs promotion. So she actually is submitting to a long weekend of interviews while admitting: “This is the first time I’ve done this for a long time. It isn’t easy. I am a little shy this time around because I am much less strong inside as I have already been before.”
The last a year have clearly considered its toll on the 42-year-old celebrity, who’s looking pale and gaunt.
“It has been difficult,” she acknowledges. “I don’t enjoy being sole. It isn’t something I needed. There’s nothing nice about any of it. It’s hard. Sometimes maybe it seems I am tugging it all collectively, but really I am just trying to get through my days and nights. Emotionally, it has been a difficult yr and I’ve had some other medical issues. So my health is something I have to monitor.”
Four years ago, Jolie caused an internationally blend by announcing she got gone through a preventative dual mastectomy after learning she experienced an 87pc risk of developing breast cancer tumor. Her mother experienced breast tumor and passed on of ovarian tumor in 2007 at the age of 56, while her grandmother also passed away of ovarian malignancy aged 45. Two years later, she acquired her ovaries removed and this past year, in addition to hypertension, she developed Bell’s palsy, leading to one part of her face to droop. Acupuncture helped her recover.
“So much in life you merely concentrate on how much worse maybe it’s,” she says. “And I am so happy I don’t possess cancer and that if I do get it, it will be delayed for a few years. The exchange for your peace of mind is quite good. Personally i think sometimes that my own body has taken a hit, but I try to laugh whenever you can.
“We have a tendency to get so pressured our children feel our stress when they have to feel our delight. Even though you are going through chemo, you will need to find the ability to love and giggle.” She pauses and smiles. “It may appear to be a postcard, but it’s true.”
Her children – Maddox (16), Pax (13), Zahara (12), Shiloh (11), and the nine-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne – feature prominently in her dialog and she is negotiating custody arrangements while she settles her divorce. All six were with her in Cambodia for the four calendar months she put in filming First They Wiped out My Father, which is dependant on Loung Ung’s 2000 memoir of the Khmer Rouge genocide, in which Ung’s parents and two of her siblings perished along with around two million Cambodians.
Jolie has been a Cambodian resident for a decade and owns a house nearby the Thai border, so the time they put in there is of special significance to her and Maddox, whom she followed there when he was 90 days old.
“I had fulfilled Loung and I asked her how she would feel, as a Cambodian orphan, if I implemented a Cambodian orphan. She was very supportive. Experienced she not been, my entire life would have been completely different.
“So she’s known Mad his very existence and Mad has known of Loung’s storyline his whole life, and I told him: ‘One day, child, you will be ready and you’ll tell me it’s time to go deeply into the country. But I want your help and you have to work and you need to be there every day therefore you can’t say no and that you will be worn out.’ And one day he said: ‘I am ready.’
“I really needed Maddox to find out about Cambodian history, so I felt that this movie was a journey that we could take. And he gone really deeply in to the research and into the edit. And having somebody younger there to state ‘you are dropping my attention’ or ‘that is too complicated’ really was helpful.”
The film is a family group affair: Maddox is acknowledged as an professional producer, Pax have some photography stills and the other four were on placed every day and became playmates of the child actors.
“Seventy per cent of Cambodians are under 30,” says Jolie. “And if indeed they watch this film and they don’t want what been repeated, then they will be the ones for taking the country forward.”
She talks quickly and quietly with mainly good humour. The only real time she becomes testy is when I ask her about the controversy that ornamented her casting methods for the film. Inside a Vanity Rational interview, she implied that her casting directors experienced played a game in which they offered money to the impoverished young people and then pretended to use it away from them, awarding tasks to the kids who seemed the most upset. The audition seduced criticism and Jolie’s legal professionals called for a modification but Vanity Good stood by their history.
“I have explained it and you could look it up,” she says sharply. “It had been a mischaracterisation and it didn’t happen at all that wasn’t absolutely with the thought of what was best for the child and the family.”
First They Killed MY DAD is the fourth film directed by Jolie, pursuing INSIDE THE Land Of Bloodstream And Honey, Unbroken and By THE OCEAN. Right now, though, she has no immediate strategies either for behaving or directing. She and the children recently transferred into a $24.5 million mansion once managed by Cecil B de Mille and settling in is her main concern.
“I am going to food preparation classes!” she says. “I am uncertain how good I am at it. Food preparation is one of those things you do if you are settled in your daily life and you can make an effort. But somehow I am just very impatient and I am a little bit erratic, so it is hard to stand in the kitchen.
“But I am engaging in it now. I am really attempting because Personally i think like easily cook, the kids can all hang out, although they often times dominate and tell me they can do it better.” She laughs.
“The children have been amazing,” she contributes. “It has been so moving to see how much they may have helped each other and exactly how much they may have helped me. They attended into their own and they’re finding themselves and their voices. I know they will have each other forever and it offers me great peace to know your day I expire they will take care of each other.”
Since concluding the film she has stopped at London as a visitor lecturer at the London University of Economics, talking to students about her experience as a UN special envoy.
“Area of the reason I needed to instruct was I wanted to learn, too,” she says. “I really wanted to notice from the technology approaching what questions they have and what their goals are…”
If and when she results to film-making, the probabilities are it’ll be as a director rather than an professional. “If you are an actor you’re not able to sculpt the ultimate account,” she says. “But to have the ability to oversee everything, even the music that goes into the edit, feels very different.”
Jolie’s preceding years as a outrageous child have been well noted. She has spoken freely in the past about dabbling with drugs and home mutilation, and during her relationship to Billy Bob Thornton (she was also briefly married to British actor Jonny Lee Miller), she and Thornton used each other’s dried blood in pendants around their necks and bragged about their crazy sex.
She fulfilled Pitt in 2004 on the group of Mr And Mrs Smith and has committed the past 15 many years of her life to motherhood. But her life has evolved dramatically during the past year and today she is thinking about changing with it.
“I think now I have to rediscover a little bit of the old me personally,” she says. “I believe we lose our way a little. I have had a great deal happen in my own life, from certain people moving to health issues to raising the children.
“And it’s been a very good time to soak up and develop and grow. But maybe now that my kids are growing up, I am starting to realise that my very own sense of play has been placed on hold for some time. And perhaps them hitting their teens will bring out a bit more fun in mom.” She laughs. “So maybe I’m going back. It may be time.”
First They Killed MY DAD launches on Netflix on Sept 15.