Angelina Jolie: "I First Became Happy With The Way I Look When I Became A Mother"

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Angelina has sat down for yet another revealing interview while Brad looked after their six children, including four-month-old twins Knox Léon and Vivienne Marcheline.

“I can’t stand being away from them for too long,” Angelina admitted. “They’re part of me and I’m part of them. Actually, they’re upstairs – I’m surprised you can’t hear them.”

‘Upstairs’ is the penthouse suite of the luxurious Manhattan hotel in which she meets for the interview. Angelina arrives right on time, looking glamorous and perfectly groomed. She wore a tight-fitting, cream Ralph Lauren crew-neck jumper that emphasised how quickly she regained her figure after the birth of the twins in July. “Oh yeah, but you should have seen me a couple of hours ago when I was organising breakfast,” she laughed. 

The interviewer comments that, “she looks like a particularly beautiful Manhattan mum on her way to meet well-heeled friends for brunch.”

“How did I get my figure back? Well, breast-feeding for a start. That and running around after six kids,’ she said. 

Wherever they travel, the kids go with them – sons Maddox, 7, and Pax, 4, and daughter Zahara, 3, Shiloh, 2, and now the twins! 

“It was a crazy amount of money,” Angelina conceded, referring to the baby pictures deal. “But look, we’re using the money for our charitable foundation and in that way  it does some good.”

“You should never help somebody out of pity, or to get Brownie points in heaven,” she said. “You should genuinely find joy in making somebody else’s life better.”

The charity work and her travels around the world have changed Angelina from an unsettled, often wild young woman into a conscience-driven mother determined to use her fame – and money – for humanitarian causes.

It was while she was making her first Lara Croft film, Tomb Raider, in 2001 that she first travelled to Cambodia. She returned to the same country on a UN field mission and decided that she would adopt a child. She registered with an American-based adoption agency and returned to Cambodia again, in March 2002, to visit orphanages. 

“I woke up the day I met Maddox thinking, “My son or daughter is here. They’re going to introduce me to a child and I wonder how I’m going to feel?” And the moment I met him [Maddox was seven months old at the time] I knew I was his mother. And I can’t explain it. I don’t know why, but it was absolutely meant to be.””

“As you get older you see more character in your face. Now, when I look at myself, I see somebody at peace and I see a mom – and that’s a kind of beauty.”

“I know this is going to sound corny, but I first became happy with the way I look when I became a mother. There’s this idea that beauty is when someone does your hair and puts a lot of make-up on you and sticks your face on the cover of a magazine. Is that beauty? You know what is beautiful? My mom. [Her mother was the French actress Marcheline Bertrand, who died aged 56 last January from ovarian cancer.] She was beautiful to me, and I look more like my mom as I get older. Something else comes out of you when you become a parent and, as you get older, you start to see more character in your face. Now, when I look at myself, I just see somebody at peace, and I see a mom, and I see my own relatives in my face – and that’s a kind of beauty that exists for everybody and doesn’t disappear.”

“I knew I had to find purpose and balance before I became a mother. I wouldn’t have jumped into it until I knew I was all right and could be stable.”

Her latest film, Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood, is based on a true story and was, she shared, the most harrowing role she has undertaken, causing nightmares and panic attacks. “I was wacko, emotionally, during this one,” she says. “I just couldn’t get the story out of my head.”

“During the filming of Changeling I was paranoid about my own children – where they were, what they were doing”

“I remember one weekend I’d taken a nap and Shiloh was asleep in her cradle, and when I woke up she was gone. I was freaking out. And nothing had happened – Brad had taken her and the rest of the kids to the park. But Walter’s story haunted me. Throughout filming I was hugging the kids and keeping them close to me.”

The similarities with the Madeleine McCann case are obvious. “My heart goes out to that family,” she says. “Not to know what has happened to your child is just the worst thing in the world. I love Brad and if anything happened to him it would wreck me, but if anything happened to my kids…it’s something I can’t even think about, it’s so upsetting.”

Changeling was filmed in California in August and September last year, just as Angelina and Brad were thinking of trying for another baby, so the subject matter was particularly traumatic for them. 

“It was like, “Do you want to start a pregnancy in this high emotional state?” I felt so raw.”” 

“Now we joke that maybe we had too much energy because we ended up with twins! It was a huge surprise – we both got hysterical with laughter when we found out. Twins are on Brad’s mother’s side, so we had joked about the possibility, but didn’t think it would happen. But it’s been great.”

For her portrayal of Christine Collins, Angelina drew heavily on the memory of her own mother. “Mom was so gentle, just a very sweet person. And yet if you were to take her kids, she would have been just like Christine – she would have found the strength somehow to do what was needed to get her son back. I was feeling very frail [about my mother’s death]. But it was actually a time of reconnecting with her. When she first passed away, I couldn’t look at pictures of her – I would just start to cry. But then I looked in the mirror and I could see her in my face – the same brown hair, the way she’d smile. I kind of played her in this film. To spend time with her in that way was very healing. When Brad saw the film, the first thing he said to me was, “I can see your mom…””

“I have a wonderful family, and I occasionally go out and make a film, so I never read those magazines. There are things about me that are useful for people to read, and then there’s stuff that’s just silly. There are mistakes I’ve made, lessons I’ve learnt – which I’m happy to talk about – and I’d love to talk to other mothers about things I don’t know how to do.”

She and Brad live a nomadic life, with homes in LA, New Orleans and Cambodia. She hinted that, with school commitments, they could settle more, but said, “You know, we’re lucky, we can move around and the kids adapt and they can be with us – that’s the priority.”

She tries to embrace a green lifestyle, but admits that it’s difficult. “I would love it for every car to be greener. I would love them to recycle better, and I would love it if there were laws against packaging and too much plastic and stuff: you know, you buy a kid’s toy and I think it’s something like 80 per cent [of what] you buy is packaging. But I’m not as good about it as Brad. He teaches me a lot. And if we fly private, we buy carbon credits wherever we go.”

Pregnancy and the birth of the twins mean she hasn’t worked since making Changeling, more than a year ago. “I’m going to make a film [The Mercenary: Love and Honor] in February, and after that I won’t work again for another year. But it was hard even to decide that. I had a lot of discussions at home – can we balance things? Can Mommy go to work? Can it be all right? Maybe I’ll do a few months’ work every year or so. Brad and I are trying to balance our lives so that we raise our kids properly, and we are also trying to make sure we are fulfilled – as artists, as people. When we get film offers, we have to ask ourselves, “Will it be a good thing for the family?” Fortunately [Brad’s] such a great father, and when he goes to work, I’m home, and vice versa. And any mother knows that sometimes just a little time for yourself makes you a better mom. You get that one night’s good sleep and you’re so much better the next day.””

At home, she insists, they are just like any other family. The kids run and play and they watch DVDs – including Shark Tale, an animation for which Angelina voiced one of the characters.

“They haven’t seen a lot of our films yet, because they are a little young, but I’m looking forward to them one day discovering Mr and Mrs Smith,” she smiled. “They’re going to have a great laugh – to see when their parents actually met, and watch them fall in love and try to kill each other! And Madd was there while we were filming, so he was a part of it. It’s pretty extraordinary.””

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Comments

  1. oriana says

    When she played in Alexander, she looked a lot like Ava Gardner, that was one gorgeous woman too back in the day!

  2. Jackie says

    Nicki- thank you for clearing that up for me- so, I’m married. If I happen to fall in love with another man it’s not adultery because I’m in love?? Adultery is adultery is adultery no matter what feelings are involved.

  3. katty says

    Exactly Ummm, thats what I read it as. She was talking about how they fell in love in the actual movie. It’s obvious how she says ‘and try to kill each other’ afterwards

  4. Analise says

    #34 Thanks for that enlightening comment. *eyeroll* Glad you decide how many kids are too many.

  5. Analise says

    I continue to enjoy these interviews with Angelina. Her choices past, present and future are her own and we all make our own and we make mistakes. I don’t care who she has or hasn’t slept with, what shes done or how much money is paid for her kids’ photos.

    One thing seems consistent, she truly loves being a mother and adores her children. You can’t fault that unless you simply want to hate her.

  6. ann says

    I love to see Angelina any movies please made more movies instead of baby, your have to much children already.

  7. traveler says

    I think AJ is just naturally thin. She’s always been that way except when she was bulked up for the Tomb Raiders and when she was pregnant. Some people have skinny bodies and there’s nothing they can do about unless they spend 8 hours a day lifting weights. As long as she feels healthy and her doctors say she’s healthy, being thin shouldn’t be a problem.

  8. Emer says

    I doubt she was happy with her body… She is so thin again now so quick after giving birth.
    But congrts to her, her family are lovely and I wouldnt kick Brad out of bed for eating crisps 😉

  9. Big Blomba says

    I have to say – she did an awesome job in the Changling. What a horrible, horrible story. I couldn’t shake it for days. I had no idea what I was walking into when I went to the movies that night.

    But AJ? Great job.

    Now go eat a hamburger, AJ!

  10. Nicki says

    Deeds~ I’ll play. I see a femme fatale. As Brad said she is always portrayed as one in her photoshoots, that is why he wanted to show her sweet side in the W shoot.
    This is an old pic, and the way they portray her. Hot pic though JMO.

    Thank you LOLA and annie.
    I still don’t get why people who “can’t stand her” even bother to click on her pics to comment. I don’t care much for many celebrities but I don’t waste my time commenting on them. It is just odd to me, especially #5, which should be deleted. (This comment isn’t directed at anyone personally, just wondering why someones precious time would be wasted on negativity.)

  11. Deeds says

    I’m not an AJ hater. But I want to play a game. Look at the pic posted, take nothing else in to consideration. What do you see a femme fattel(sp) or a really sweet gal?

  12. Tia :) says

    #2- Brad has said many times before that during the filming of Mr and Mrs. Smith that is marriage to Jen was over before that film even began.

  13. traveler says

    Niloofar:

    Sometimes people get divorced. It happens. Particularly if they marry young. That’s why I’ve waited until my early thirties to get married. People do a lot of changing and growing up in their twenties and sometimes that dooms a marriage as people find themselves taking different paths in life. I always advise young people to wait to get married.

    Regardless, the past is the past and there’s nothing BP or JA can do about it now. Perhaps, they both learned a lesson from their failed marriage and will apply what they’ve learned to their future relationships. It appears that BP has tried to be a better partner this time around. It seems like he and AJ might just make it. As for JA, I wish her the best and hopefully her next serious relationship will work for her and she too can apply the lessons she learned from her first marriage.

  14. canuck says

    Not only is she drop dead gorgeous, she’s a hard core humanitarian and a very smart woman. Anyone who doesn’t like her must just feel threatened because they don’t understand the work she does. Period.

  15. jORGIE says

    LIKE THE PICTURE AND ALWAYS LIKE ANGELINA EVEN BEFORE SHE MEET BRAD. # FIVE YOU’RE SO…….NEVER MIND ANNIE SAID IT ALREADY.

  16. annie says

    # 3 Nick, I really like your opinion. You are very honest saying true things. That is why when I see your name I always read your comments

  17. lily says

    Clint Eastwood said:Angelina has most gorgeous face on planet, she is a great talent,. for me she is most sexy woman in the world.I love to see any movies she acts in, I hope she can made more movies.

  18. ann says

    Angelina she is a most beautiful woman in the world, I really enjoy thes pictures, she look so sexy, We love to see any movies she acts in, please made more movies, without you it is not the same.

  19. Niloofar says

    FELL IN LOVE!!!!!
    I REALLY HATE FROM THIS SENTENCE”THEY FELL IN
    LOVE WHILE FILMING MR & MRS SMITH”
    THEY DIDN’T FALL IN “LOVE” , THEY JUST “LIKE”
    EACHOTHER, AS A PARTNER OR A USUALL FREIND,
    THE REALL LOVE IS NOT THE LOVE THAT WE SEE
    BETWEEN BRAD & A.J, OR ANY OTHER ARTISTS,
    IF IT IS, WHY MOST OF THEM GET DIVORCE?????????
    THEY JUST FALL IN LOVE ,WITH ANOTHER TO HAVE
    SEX WITH OTHERS TOO, FIRST THEY REALLY LOVE
    EACHOTHER, BUT AFTER SOMETIMES IT BECOMES
    ORDINARY, AN GOING TO BREAK UP,I’M REALLY SORRY FOR THEM, BECAUSE THEY DON’T WANT TO
    TRY TO FIND A PERSON TO REALLY FALL IN “LOVE”
    WITH HIM/HER, AND HAVE A BEAUTIFUL LIFE,
    UPTO THE END OF THEIR LIFETIMES……….

  20. Khelli says

    I’m so tired of hearing about this woman. What makes her think Brad wont leave her for someone else. A cheater is always a cheater. You wach

  21. Josie says

    AJ is a beautiful woman. She has a beautiful family and a beautiful and adoring husband. I respect and applaud the fact that she has adopted underprivileged children from around the world and has opened up her heart and home to them and given them a better life.

    What I don’t like however, is the way the media, in order to sell magazines, displays her as some kind of a god, a deity, with super human abilities. She is a person, just like us. She has made mistakes in life, just like us. She uses the toilet just like us. She is far from perfect despite how the media portrays her. Although, I’m sure a lot of us would like to believe that she is super-human, that is just not realistic.

    There are a lot of beautiful women in the world. There are a lot of people that adopt children. The only difference is they don’t have a publicist and they don’t have millions to spend on publicity like AJ.

  22. says

    I hope you get in a car accident and die # 5. Your a sick B****. I would never say something as dirty as that even if I didn’t like a person

  23. bambamswife says

    I can’t stomach jolie, but geez Clare, that is like so very very bad to say. I only come on this site once in a while to see new baby pictures. I do not see what the big deal is about jolie, and I feel very badly that Brad Pitt is involved with her now. I used to like him, but of course not now. It is truly a shame that people can elevate some celebrities and debase others. jolie is a beautiful woman, and I think she is a really good actress, but I cannot stand her. She is really gross. Still into knives and was she sharing that with one of her adopted children? she used to cut herself and lived with a boy when she was fifteen, and in love with a woman etc. I wonder if she gets some kind of psychiatric help. she sure needs it. she is an extremist_ like having all these children at once, and she has nannies to help. I really wonder if they get all the love that is proclaimed that they get. We don’t really know what goes on in celebrities lives. Wake up people and think about it. How do we know them? I still think jolie is a strange thing.

  24. Carol says

    Angie looks smashing, when will we see the twins again, now that they are 4 months old they should have real features and we will be able to see who they look like. Shilo is a good mix of both Brad and Angie.

  25. Nicki says

    This interview is a bunch of interviews mish mashed together to make it look like a real interview.
    She is filming Salt in Feb, not the movie they claim.

    Yes technically Brad was still married. If you read Jennifer Annistons Vanity Fair article from 2005 you will see Brad was honest with her and told her he had feelings for Angie. He was honest. Jennifer herself said she knew her marriage was over before then. She also said he did not cheat and 2 of her friends were also quoted saying the same thing.

    Many many people get divorced, and no one has gotten as much pity as Jennifer. Reese, Uma, and many more have taken the high road and they had children.
    I wish Jennifer the best and as she said on Oprah, that was 100 years ago for **********!
    People can fall in love and not have sex. Anyone who saw the movie can see the chemistry between them. Yes they fell in love while filming Mr and Mrs Smith, doesn’t mean they acted upon those feelings.
    There was no adultry. So they don’t have to justify anything to thier children. They fell in love.

  26. says

    ……And was not Brad MARRIED at the time to Jennifer Anniston, while Mr. and Mrs. Smith was being filmed, and Brad and Angelina were “falling in love” during the making of this movie…..in Madd’s prescence? That is something that might be VERY AWKWARD to have to explain to one’s children one day. Adultry always is awkward to justify, especially to your own children.

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