Angeline Jolie recently opened up about herself during an interview with editor-in-chief Edward Enninful in the March 2021 issue of British Vogue. Jolie was asked what people would be surprised to know about her and she responded that she is a ‘closet foreign policy wonk’ who is a bit more boring than people would think and a bit of a geek.
It is an aptly boring answer and the actress knows how to work a media message.
Two decades ago, she was still married to Billy Bob Thornton. She was also about to release Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Jolie shot the film in Cambodia and in February 2001, exactly two decades ago this month, she made her first United Nations trip to Sierra Leone and Tanzania. Over time, she would make more trips in the subsequent months and a visit back to Cambodia as well as donating USD1 million (SGD 1.33 million), which was at that time the biggest donation made by a private individual to the UNHCR.
According to a report by Lainey Gossip based on British Vogue on February 3, Jolie officially became a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in August 2001, which was the same month Maddox, her first child was born. In November 2001, she met Maddox so this year, 2021, marks a big milestone for her and her family. On the topic of Jolie’s image and the media at that time, she had a wild reputation, with vials of blood and stories of sex in the car but this was the turning point.
Two decades ago Jolie’s life turned around, beginning with her involvement with the UNHCR and becoming a mother. From being the “bad girl wild child”, she evolved into Angelina Jolie the mother, humanitarian, philanthropist and activist. Although she called herself boring, it was a comparison to what she once was. The “bad girl wild child” days took up only about five or six years or so and the mother-humanitarian days greatly outnumber the more sensational ones.
The Lara Croft star said she went through a phase of being so shocked and angry about a system that tolerates millions of people being displaced by war, genocide and persecution. She is still just as angry about injustice, but whereas her younger self wanted to tear down the system, she learnt she has to fight to try to change it from within.
She shared that she has a love-hate relationship with the UN. She loves it when she sees practical solutions and protection for those most in need. She is happy to see people from around the world risking their lives for that. What she hates is how little focus governments have on actually solving the reasons people flee.
She added that she hates it when we don’t speak out and defend the rights of all people equally and she hates when she feels the focus is not on encouraging people and countries to be independent but seems to benefit from them being broken.
On the subject of relationships, amicability is also not the first word that comes to mind to describe Jolie and Brad Pitt’s relationship. At the start of the week, it was revealed that Jolie is selling a painting that the duo bought when they were together.
It was thought that their art collection was part of the financial negotiations that have been ongoing as they inch towards a complete divorce resolution. In September it would be five years since the breaking of Brange. During that period, there has been speculation about Pitt’s post-Jolie romance, including a relationship with a married German model while Jolie remained single.
Jolie said that the past few years have been difficult and she has been focusing on healing her family. She added that it is slowly coming back, like the ice melting and the blood returning to her body. But she is not there yet and she hopes to be. She is planning on it and she likes being older. Jolie feels much more comfortable in her forties than she did when she was younger. She said maybe because her mother did not live very long so there is something about age that feels like a victory instead of sadness for her.
Her mother’s illness and death at just 56 years old is one of Jolie’s great traumas. It has caused her to make informed decisions about her body and has had a major impact on how she relates to her kids and how much time she wants to spend with them.
It is understandable considering the way Jolie is motivated by the pain she experienced after the loss of her mother. There is no way you can ignore the impact that it continues to have on her and her relationship with her children. Her children Maddox, Zahara, Knox and Vivienne are featured in the British Vogue piece with a photo of Jolie cutting Maddox’s hair.
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