Angelina Jolie’s private life almost outshines her career at times. Her humanitarian work seems endless. She’s a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; she helped push through the Unaccompanied Alien Child Protection Act and founded the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children. Her boyfriend, Brad Pitt, and she spent months in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, where they help rebuild communities, and she and Pitt donated $1 million to relief efforts in Haiti following its devastating earthquake.
Jolie and Pitt have three children of their own, Shiloh, Knox and Vivienne and adopted children Maddox, Zahara and Pax.
In the second part of our interview with Angelina Jolie, the actress candidly speaks about her life, her career and her children.
Every film you do is so different from the last film. Do you make those choices based on the idea of having longevity in your career, or do you do it because you just say this is the movie I have to do?
I’ve been lucky to be able to go back and forth between action and drama, and it’s more where I’m emotionally. Sometimes, after doing something like a Changeling, where you’re so emotionally drained and you’ve gone through a certain side of yourself, and then it’s important to do something else that gets you out of yourself and gets you physical and strong.
I’d just had babies, and I’d been home for a year and a half when I decided to do Salt. And it felt like it was complex enough and all those wonderful things, but I knew it would really be good for me to jump around and get active after that time, and now I’m looking for something else.
Do you think having children has changed your outlook in terms of the types of films you do that have a message beyond just purely entertainment?
I have kids, so I watch pure entertainment all the time. I love more serious films as well, and I’ve been allowed to do them, but I also love entertaining and just the simple pleasure of that. So I don’t start to take everything too seriously, I think maybe hopefully I’ll have a good sense of fun through it all as well.
Is one of the best things about fame that you can make choices in terms of acting; that you can get films made?
Certainly having the choice not to work, Brad and I have the ability to take turns working. Very few parents have that luxury, that we can always have a parent at home and that we can take months off together and travel with the children. It’s that it allows us this luxury of adjusting our schedules so we can be really, really hands on with our children, so we’re very lucky.
You travel a lot. Is there any place in the world you haven’t been to that you’d like to introduce your kids to?
I haven’t been to China and I’d really like to go to China. And I haven’t spent enough time in South America. But the most important thing is to return to my kids’ countries first. We’re building a clinic in Ethiopia at the moment and we’re looking into Vietnam.
Are the children now the priority or do you still get involved in causes.
My children will always really be my first priority, but no, not at all. I just traveled a few weeks ago to Equator and to Haiti and now my children are old enough to start coming with me. Madd’s come to refugee camps in Thailand, and the project we’re working on in Cambodia, they spent time there.
We don’t make it a thing where it’s like going to learn something. I’‚s just if they want to hang out with us and make friends, they make friends, and then those friends happen to be going through different situations that they learn about. So if anything it’s just trying to put it all together.
What surprised you most about working with Johnny Depp on The Tourist?
Our families spent time together and he’s got a great family. He’s just a great actor, so nothing was a surprise, he was as wonderful to work with as I had expected.
Do you have any thought on the sequel to Wanted?
I’m not doing it. I thought it was funny that they asked me since I (died in it).
It was a very funny phone call. And I was the one that wrote in that I died, because I wanted to die.
Would you ever give up acting?
Not give it up. I think I’d just do less at some point. I have a few more stories that I’d like to tell, but I can imagine that I’ll just do less and less as my kids grow up, and I’d like to do other things before my life is over.
You say there are a few more stories you’d like to tell – are they about particular people?
There’s been talk about Cleopatra. I haven’t done an historical epic of that nature and she’s always been fascinating to me because I feel, as much as her story’s been done big, it’s never been done accurately. Not that any movie can get history perfectly right. There’s no universal truth to history in some film, but you can get closer.
I feel there’s a lot that hasn’t been explored about her. But there’s a lot that would have to come together for that to work.