Angelina Jolie: ‘I just want my family to heal’ https://t.co/sxG7dqOhPF— Guardian Weekend (@guardianweekend) September 4, 2021
Follow up to this post. The entire interview is great and worth the read.
- Angelina has written her first book with child rights lawyer Geraldine Van Bueren QC and Amnesty International, called Know Your Rights. The book lays out all the rights children have under the UN convention on the rights of the child (the rights to life, dignity, health, equality and non-discrimination, criminal justice, a safe place, freedom of thought and expression, privacy, peaceful protest, play and education, to the right to protections from harm and armed violence).
- With her custody situation with Brad Pitt, she brought up the rights of the child, only to find out the US hadn’t ratified the rights. "A child in Europe would have a better chance of having a voice in court than a child in California. That said a lot to me about this country."
- On being an advocate only to have violence and legal issues erupt in her own home: "Often you cannot recognise something in a personal way, especially if your focus is on the greatest global injustices, because everything else seems smaller...I’m not the kind of person who makes decisions like the decisions I had to make lightly. It took a lot for me to be in a position where I felt I had to separate from the father of my children."
- She bought her home to make it easier for the children to visit Pitt. Despite what news articles say, Angelina wasn't fighting for sole custody, she was fighting about how a healthy joint custody relationship could be achieved.
- She has begun to apply her lessons from her 20 years of activism to the custody case. "What I know is when a child has been harmed, physically, emotionally, or witnessed the harm of somebody they love or care for, it can cause damage to that child. One of the reasons children need to have these rights is because without them they are vulnerable to living unsafe, unhealthy lives."
- Some family law attorneys have criticized Jolie for wanting her children to testify against their father, while Jolie says it would be a betrayal of their rights for her to refuse them. Jolie’s lawyers say three of the children have asked to give their testimony and in March, Maddox- the only adult child- did testify against Pitt.
- Angelina on her late mother, Marcheline Bertrand: "She didn’t try to make me a mould of her. We were very different as women...She would always want me to sit next to the stranger on the plane because she was shy, right? While I loved her softness, she loved my strength. She was very still, and I’m constantly in motion. I was very sexual, and she was much more of a lady. But she saw my true self and encouraged it fully, and she taught me to do that for my own children. My children are all very different from each other."
- Of her youth, which was filled with drugs, drink, promiscuity and cutting: "It took me a good while to feel I could be of use to anyone because I felt for a long time that I was a little crazy, that I was a little unhinged, and not settled. If you would have asked me as a teenager if I could have been anybody’s mom, or of any use to the UN or write a book, I would have said absolutely not...I was rudderless. I was seeking freedom, truth, feeling. I wanted to feel deeply and experience deeply.” She laughs. “Listen, I grew up in Hollywood. This town is disturbing. I was hurt from a lot of different things in life."
- As an adult and mother, she has better directed her restlessness and truth-seeking to activism, following her mother's advice to make herself useful to the world.
- She felt pushed into acting to be financially supportive for her mother. It was suggested she become an actor or a model and she is sure if she were a boy, that would not have been the options given.
- She chose to use her fame to have the voice her mother didn't.
- Does she feel her rights have always been respected? “Hmm. A good therapy question. I think my mother did a lot to ensure my rights and empower me. But you know, I started working really young to help her pay bills and stuff. And I wasn’t aware of how I deserved to be treated as a young girl and a human being. I didn’t feel I was born with these rights and protections. I felt that these were things you had to demand or fight for, and sometimes be seen as difficult when you do.” Is she seen as difficult? “I will certainly challenge whoever’s in my way to get to whatever it is I think needs to be done.”
- She has a very vocal rottweiler named Dusty.
- The first time she felt sufficiently disrespected in the industry was of no shock: “Erm...well, no surprise, Harvey Weinstein. I worked with him when I was young.” [She was 21 and says women often play down an assault if they manage to escape as she did at the time] “If you get yourself out of the room, you think he attempted but didn’t, right? The truth is that the attempt and the experience of the attempt is an assault.”
- In 2009, Brad Pitt starred in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, co-produced by the Weinstein Company. In 2012, Pitt approached Weinstein to work as a producer for Killing Them Softly, which the Weinstein Company later distributed. In doing so, Jolie felt he was minimizing the sexual assault she had endured and they fought over it. "I stayed away and warned people about him. I remember telling Jonny, my first husband, who was great about it, to spread the word to other guys – don’t let girls go alone with him. I was asked to do The Aviator, but I said no because he was involved. I never associated or worked with him again. It was hard for me when Brad did. We fought about it. Of course it hurt." Brad is now doing a film about the downfall of Weinstein.
- As Angelina talks, the interviewer notices how tired she looks. While refusing to discuss details about her divorce, she has said that the experience has been traumatic and has left her feeling "broken." 'What have the past five years taken out of her? There is a long pause. She cups her face in her hands, and looks ready to burst into tears.' “I mean, in some ways it’s been the last decade. There’s a lot I can’t say. I think at the end of the day, even if you and a few people you love are the only people who know the truth of your life, what you fight for, or what you sacrifice, or what you’ve suffered, you come to be at peace with that, regardless of everything going on around you.”
Has it proved hard to come out of all this at peace with herself? “I’m not out of it,” she says, quietly. I suppose what I’m asking in a clumsy way is: how are you? She looks even more upset. “It’s really hard to answer.” Another pause. “How am I? I’m realising that sometimes you can survive things, but not know how to feel and live in the same way. So it’s more about being open. I’m really trying to be open as a human being again.”
- She says of the divorce, their problems didn’t start with the plane incident, it was much more complicated than that. "It has been so horrific that I almost have to see it as a godsend to be in a position to be able to fight this system [in regards to children's rights]." She goes back and forth between wanting to talk about it all in her limited allowance versus wanting to stay silent in an attempt to try to help her family heal. But then she reminds herself her 17 year old has been denied his voice in court.
- Pitt’s lawyers declined to comment when invited to do so by the Guardian.
Angelina Jolie photographed by Mary Rozzi for The Guardian pic.twitter.com/D3UJbTEnQt— Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) September 4, 2021