• We're proud to announce our first collaboration with Ralph Lauren, featuring their Polo ID line of bags. Check them out and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Angelina Jolie's In-Depth Interview


Mar 1, 2006
Angelina Jolie's In-Depth Interview published in the Dec. 22 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

(source: Angelina Jolie’s In-Depth Interview | Just Jared)

Angelina Jolie - Philippine Daily Inquirer Interview

We haven’t talked to you in almost two years. Can you recap the high points in your personal journey in the last couple of years? The high points are the obvious. My coming together with Brad; Brad and Maddox coming together; and Zahara coming into our family. The low or scarier point was when Zahara got sick. Her surviving that was a high point. My having a baby (Shiloh) and now her personality is coming out—it’s fun. It’s great to see all three kids together.

On a professional level, this film was wonderful to work on. That I’ll be working a lot less and spending a lot more time at home was a welcome decision at the end of the day.

And you have been going on these missions for the UN. I’ve been working for the UN for five years now. I have been involved with projects in Cambodia for four years. I’m still pushing for different bills in Washington and they haven’t gone through. We have a new Congress. Maybe they will (pass those bills).

I’m trying to educate myself more to be able to handle discussions on issues better and not just be emotional about them. I would try to actually deal with them on a stronger level and make some changes.

As I’m looking at you from the side, you and Brad could be brother and sister. Well, thank God we’re not (laughter).

Even in your voice and the way you respond to questions. Oh, no. Really?

Do you think your relationship is based on the fact that you are alike? You know, it’s funny. When we first came together, everybody commented on how different we were. So now it’s funny to hear somebody comment on how similar we are. Oh my God, I think you’ve scared me into thinking we’re starting to be that couple that morphs (starts looking like each other). We are very different in many ways — certainly in the way he is at home and the way I am at home. But we balance each other quite well.

Can you give an example of how different you are? He’s very methodical and takes time with things. I’m very impulsive like on a decision we made yesterday. But (when we travel), he packs at the last minute while I pack three days ahead with all the kids’ stuff and five different things. I like to organize each moment of our travel but he likes to be more (spontaneous). But we appreciate each other. We need it. I need to be not so crazy about things.

How are you going to spend the holidays? We’re going somewhere this Christmas. We’ll spend the morning with our children, have a wonderful time with them and make it special for them and not forget that. We’re going to spend the day with some other people, bring them some things, listen and talk to them. I want to teach my kids that it’s not about what they’re going to get but it’s about who they’re going to think of, what they’re going to do, what they’re going to learn and who they are going to extend kindness to. The season is a good excuse to teach our children something really nice.

Spiritually, are Brad and you on the same page? Yes, I would say that. We’re not of any one faith ourselves but we are teaching the children about different faiths. We believe (in teaching them about) that. We believe that you should understand and learn about all the different faiths. Then teach your children and see where they fall and celebrate many different things. I suppose that is a unique thing to be very much in agreement on.

Do you have any respite from the paparazzi at all? We were just recently in our home in Cambodia and nobody was there. So there are ways and there are places (where there are no paparazzi). We also went to Brad’s parents’ house for about five days. That was lovely and quiet. Hopefully in the years to come, maybe if we work less, we’ll have more of a quiet life. Then our kids will have a more normal life. We just try not to let it (the paparazzi issue) affect us. It only does when we want the kids to have more freedom but other than that, we try to ignore it. There are worse problems so we’re OK.

Would you like to get married again? I have had two beautiful marriages (first to British actor Johnny Lee Miller and then to American actor Billy Bob Thorton in my life. I don’t feel a need to get married at all at this moment. But I am committed to another person (Brad) and three children. I think that’s the most important. For people who want to be married, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s a wonderful thing and I’m all for it.

How much do you enjoy flying your own plane? I love it. It certainly gives me a freedom that I don’t have on the ground. Flying is a real skill. I know that sounds odd but I have spent my whole life with a job that is kind of odd. I interpret behavior, tell stories and I emote—those are not practical skills. So it was really wonderful for me as a woman and as a person to go back to school, take tests, study and learn a proper physical skill I can expand on. Hopefully one day, I would be able to give service as a pilot.

How often do you fly? I flew until I was about six and a half months pregnant. And then I wasn’t allowed to fly anymore. I flew about two months after Shiloh was born. I fly whenever I can. I haven’t been able to fly recently but probably I’ll fly in January and February.

Which of your movies made the most impact on you personally? I think everything does one way or the other. The funniest and probably the truest example is “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” because it was about other countries. It was about being physically strong, fit and focused. So it got me healthy and let me travel to Cambodia. Cambodia changed my life. The next film let me travel to Africa. So in working with local people, you learn about these countries not just as a tourist. But I would say that Cambodia was the most significant one. Learning about land mines and refugees and the history of a country I knew very little about changed me and made me start to question. That was really the beginning of me questioning things.

Has being famous hindered or blocked your desire to help in many countries? It has been the best use of my celebrity. When I was younger, I didn’t know quite what to do with my celebrity status. You don’t really do interviews to talk about other topics. You haven’t come to many conclusions. You don’t have a lot to say. So to find a purpose in my life really helped me. I wake up and I don’t think about meaningless little things that I am worried about for myself. I’m able to focus outward and that is just a healthier way to live. Certainly the position I’m in has made it very easy for me to be able to meet with officials, get briefings and do things quicker. That’s an even exchange. The negative side of it is your credibility is questioned. A lot of people are out to make a very silly story when you’re trying to focus on something else or question why you do things. That’s to be expected.

Is it more difficult to be a mother of a boy or of girls? I don’t know. They’re very different. My boy was my first baby so that was hard. Perhaps when they’re teenagers, I’d say it’s harder to be a mother of a girl or I’d be more nervous about the girls going on dates than about the boy. That’s when it comes back at us. They’re interesting, crazy and wild in their own ways.
My son is very close to me. I don’t know if that’s because we were alone for a long time. I can see a little bit of a difference between a mother and son and between a daddy and his girls. It’s quite interesting. On giving birth to a child or adopting a child, I honestly did expect that there would be a different feeling. I was very concerned that there would be and I prepared for that. There was absolutely none. Other than sometimes I look at Shiloh and I see Brad—that’s sweet—I don’t feel any differently. That was a wonderful surprise. I was so happy to have Shiloh in Africa, that we could do that and for her to have a Namibian passport. She has that connection to another country and to her sister’s part of the world. I think that ties them together a little.


Mar 1, 2006
It must be easier now to have somebody around to help with the kids. It’s easier to be with somebody. But it’s better to be single if you’re with the wrong person (laughter). There were so many times with Mad when he was growing up that I’d be up in the middle of the night, exhausted, rocking him. Nobody was there—except for friends—who saw me exhausted, who appreciated my efforts. Nobody was there whom I could look at or explode in excitement with when Mad said his first word. That was a bit sad. It made me very close to Mad but there’s the joy now of waking up in the middle of the night, like last night, and looking at the other exhausted parent, sharing the burden and learning, smiling about a child’s new tooth and just enjoying children. As a woman, having a partner who appreciates you as a mom, who remembers your history with your children is special.

Even though I had Maddox, I didn’t have a family somehow. I have a very small family myself. Brad has a wonderful way—he really does invest in our daily life together. He makes the most of every single moment whereas I tend to move very quickly through things. So he slowed me down to really enjoy this time. That’s probably the greatest gift and what I love about him. I think I expected a lot of things when I met him. I didn’t know anything about him as a man except what you all write (laughing). I found a really kind, funny, down-to-earth man. Just a wonderful man that you usually expect in a different package. He is who he is in the world but at home he is a really wonderful friend and father.

Can you talk some more about how Brad has taught you to slow down and enjoy life? If I want to go on some trip because I want to have an adventure, explore and learn something, he’ll make sure that we have enough days to just be with our kids or we do something special with the family. He reminds me that it’s OK to take a deep breath, sit down, enjoy life, not race through it and let it go past you. He’s been very good for me in that aspect.

After the controversy of Madonna adopting a child, the cynical reaction from media was that some celebrities are “buying” babies. Did that hurt the chances of some babies being adopted? I hope not. I hope people are smart enough to understand that it was a very specific situation of a country that didn’t have foreign adoption (policy). So it’s a very specific legal situation. I hope everybody wishes the best for that little boy and his new life. Again, it’s the negative and positive media. It’s good for media to question whether there’s something at play that you need to understand or may not be right. Then there are people who decide to run stories in the most negative way possible just to sell magazines.

I was working in India and I didn’t go out of my way to study everything about it (Madonna’s adoption of a boy issue). I don’t know a lot about that country (Malawi). I have not been there. I have gotten lists of counties to adopt from and that country has never been on those lists. I believe that anybody who adopts a child has that commitment to that child for the rest of his life. There’s got to be some love in that situation. I don’t think it’s fair to just look at it in a negative way. We have to hope that’s the best for that little boy.

You grew up in a show business environment. Do you think your children will follow the same path? Strangely enough, because I didn’t live with my father (actor John Voight), I didn’t go to a bunch of film sets and things like that. But I did grow up in Hollywood and somewhat around that. What I am trying to give to my children—and it’s the one thing I didn’t have—is at least half a year, if not more, in a foreign country. On occasion, they’ve been on film sets. They’re around this stuff every once in a while but they really spend the majority of their lives not around this (Hollywood). I am trying to give them balance, like with Mad, he came to work with me in India and he played with the local kids. He hung out at the local places and he didn’t live a Hollywood life during that time.

It was the same case when we were in Africa. I am glad I can bring Mad to these foreign countries and he’s not looking for a Nintendo and a hotel room. He’s happy to go to some neighbor’s house that’s very modest and just play outside with rocks. So I hope with that balance, I’ll instill in the children something that’s more than just wanting to be in this business. But if they want to, God help us, we will let them (laughter).

Where is home for you? We don’t actually know. We have a lot of our stuff in Los Angeles but we’re looking for a home outside of that. We just went back to Cambodia which I consider home.

How was your experience working with Robert De Niro as director? On the set, Bob was so great to work with. When I first met him, somebody said to me, “Look, he doesn’t like to talk a lot. He’ll probably talk to you for five minutes.” We talked for almost two hours because we ended up talking about world affairs. He’s not a casual person.

Please comment on—first, how you look different in this movie because of your blonde hair. And second, how everybody talks about your beauty. (On the first question), that certainly makes me feel good. I have always seen myself as different looking. In “The Good Shepherd,” I had to go quite WASP-y whereas I am more ethnic looking. It’s easier for me to go darker than lighter and my character was quite light. (On the second question), I have gotten used to myself, my face. I don’t think of myself one way or another—kind of beautiful or ugly. I look like my mom and so that’s nice to me (laughing).

In portraying a woman, wife and mother from the 1930s and 1940s, what are some of the differences from your own experience living today? Many things. It wasn’t just the 30s and through. On top of it, she’s married to the CIA. She’s unable to express her independence. That was probably the hardest thing. She could not even have an improvised fight. How far could I (her character) take an aggressive attack or an insult? I always had to stay in my place and there wasn’t anywhere to go.
It was not possible (for my character) to say, “I’m leaving,” “I want a divorce,” “I want this” or “I want this for my child.” It was very claustrophobic in that marriage. It was very hard for me as an actress to do that, to make myself less opinionated, powerful and strong. On a funnier note, I was sent to manners classes—for lessons on how to hold a cup of tea, to cross my legs the right way and to tilt my head a little and listen. It was funny that the natural way we hold ourselves today as women is not as gracious and elegant as the women of that time.

That element of the film was lost on my character who was just drinking and ignoring it. But in my life, that element is there, even when it’s just going out with the kids or where I go. Or plans for the holidays or even trying to figure out anything really. When I was pregnant and I just wanted to go to my doctor’s appointments, I had to try to find some way to get there without people following me. All that felt very uncomfortable, to be honest. But it’s just a part of this business.

What do you think is the message of this film? To be honest, I’ve not seen the film yet so I don’t know which pieces were taken out or put in and how exactly it was told. I know that Bob’s intention was—and he probably says it better—not to give a specific, this-is-what-you-should-be-questioning element or feeling. Bob’s aim was to show people and situations. It’s up to the moviegoers to read into them.

My personal feeling on the political nature of the film is, it is always important to question your government and what it is doing, not just blindly trusting that it’s going to make the right decisions, and if it’s being moral or not. I think now is no exception. This is a time when we must be questioning, as we all are, the decisions of our current administration regarding foreign policy and so forth.

Will you and Brad do a sequel of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” or perhaps another movie? There was talk at one point about another one of those but it would just be too weird since it would be so much our life (laughter). It would be like a home documentary. They said, “No, we’ll make another one and you’ll have children” and we thought, “Oh, good” (laughter). We’d love to work together on something but it’s tricky when you’re a couple and the world knows it. The movie should be a comedy. It’s easier for people who are in a relationship to have fun with each other, take shots at each other, than take each other seriously. Nothing has come across us yet, though.

With your career, family and UN work, how do you juggle all of them? Brad says I’m obsessive with schedule (laughing). I’m very fortunate to have him in my life. He’s a great father—really dedicated. We take turns working and we both love being with our kids. It’s a decision we made so it’s something we’ve wanted to do.

You must get exhausted from all your commitments. I love everything that I do. I love to work for the UN and in film. I relax with Brad and my kids. We do get exhausted like normal parents but we love it. If we plan to have a very large family, we shouldn’t stretch it out over the next 10 years or else we’ll be raising kids forever. So we’ve thought about it. I am sure we won’t wait forever to build our family.

So will you adopt again sooner than later? I think so, yeah.


Mar 1, 2006
In “Alexander” and “The Good Shepherd,” you played older women. How do you feel about aging? I’m looking very much forward to growing older. I want to be an exhausted older woman but with a very full life behind me and one still going. As an actress, they tell you things like don’t look this way or don’t age. Somebody even gave me advice not to play older women. To me, it has always been about the story and the character. Clover, my character in “The Good Shepherd,” was such an interesting woman. I loved the challenge of how she broke down and aged. Personally, I like to see age on faces.



Aug 1, 2006
Thanks for posting, it's a good interview.

I have a hard time loving her just because it would be so hard to read that if I were Brad's ex-wife. On the other hand, we're all human, and judging someone based on the media's coverage would be a very close-minded thing to do on my part.

I wish them all the best, and I think they're a really beautiful family.


Aug 27, 2006
That was a very thorough interview. I guess that now that enough "time" has passed she feels safer to be more open about her relationship with Brad. I liked the interview she did in Vogue too where she also talked about Brad and their kids.