Her double mastectomy is behind her and Angelina returns more conquering than ever. In Maleficent in a Disney production, director for her second film, “Unbroken”. And as an attentive mother and always in love. In front of the goal of Hedi Slimane, she confided exclusively to ELLE.
Of course, we expected to find those cheekbones, those plump lips and those almond eyes of a serene blue and unique. What is surprising is the incredible delicacy and apparent physical fragility that emerges from this actress that we have seen so often in roles at least muscular. The day we met, Angelina Jolieis in full editing of “Unbroken”, her second film as a director, the story of “a man, a real”, as she says herself. If “In the land of blood and honey” was promising, “Unbroken”, by its size, serves as a real test in the career of Angelina Jolie. The leading actresses who have become esteemed directors are quite rare, those who undertake a big budget war movie even more. Today, after four years of absence from the big screen and a double mastectomy made deliberately public – a subject she does not want to discuss during the promotion of her new film – Angelina, who will turn 39 in June, we come back radiant. She plays the evil Maleficent in the film of the same name, a $ 200 million Disney production, prequel to the 1959 classic, ” The Sleeping Beauty “. A formidable role that Angelina followed closely, until the appearance of the prostheses that had to transform his famous face. And, when you admit you found it absolutely terrifying, she thanked us with almost excessive warmth, as if she had been told that she was the best person in the world.
SHE. The last movie in which we saw you, “The Tourist”, dates from 2010 …
Angelina Jolie . I am very lucky to be able to play and I really like to do it, but what I really like is making films. To get back to the camera, I had to be offered an extreme role, which dragged me out of my comfort zone, which was strange enough not to give me the impression of returning to known terrain.
SHE. Maleficent fulfills this specification! But why?
AJ It was my favorite character when I was little. I think I loved to hate her. She terrified me and attracted me both incredibly. So when my brother heard about this movie project, he called me to say, “You must be! It’s maleficent! ”
SHE. We remember especially the absolutely terrifying voice of the original character …
AJ What is interesting is that very few women use the full power of their voice, with all its amplitude and strength. I realized that I never had the opportunity to use my voice fully, at home or anywhere else. Finally, you never know how that voice sounds …
SHE. How did you find it?
AJ It’s like someone is punching you in the stomach: it comes from there. The first time my “full” voice came out, I did not think that sound came from me. Afterwards, with these horns and heels, I became a creature of two meters, surprised that the children refuse to talk to me.
SHE. Do you even scare your children?
AJ Pax was really scared at first! Then all of our children attended the makeup sessions to see how my fake teeth, my eyes and my prostheses were set. But they did not like at all that I look them in the eyes. My horns were pretty funny for them: I let them have fun with it. Without, I looked like a teddy bear and they found it very cute!
SHE. You have always been very secretive about your children. It’s quite surprising to see one of your twins, Vivienne, in the role of Aurore enfant …
AJI do not want my kids to become actors. I will not stop them if it’s their passion, but I’d prefer them to do something else. Brad and I made the decision not to keep them off the set, but we do not want them to idealize the movies. We do not want to make a good thing or a bad thing. To return to Aurore Child, Maleficent is very hard with her. She says to him for example: “I do not like children, go away! (Laughter.) So we needed a child who did not care about it. Now, my little Vivienne is like my shadow. I can be tired or in a very bad mood, she does not care. It’s “Mom, Mom, Mom”, she clings to me. We knew she would continue to smile at me and hold out my arms no matter what. But it was a difficult decision.
SHE. Pax and Zahara are also in the film. Your other children are not jealous?
AJ No, they did not want to play! I talked to Shiloh about Aurore’s role and she laughed in my face. A princess ! This is the last character she would like to play. A horned creature or something like that, strictly speaking, but not a princess, she told me.
SHE. She is the daughter of her mother, it looks like! We have the feeling that you are afraid of nothing. What are you afraid of?
AJ Like everyone else, I’m afraid something will happen to people I love. But suddenly, nothing else scares me. Whenever I feel sad, disappointed, worried, I tell myself that my children are safe and healthy and I am grateful for that. My only other fear would be to live in half, and I realized this very young. A life where one does not exploit one’s potential, where one does not try experiences, where one is afraid, would make me unhappy. My only way to know if I’m on the right path is to be honest with myself, whatever I do. It turns out that it often takes me away from what can be reassuring, classic.
SHE. You seem very close to the true protagonist of the story of “Unbroken”, Louis Zamperini, a 97-year-old veteran …
AJ “Unbroken” is a very special adventure, no film counts so much for me, no subject speaks to me more . I needed Louis personally in my life. He has helped me a lot lately, he and his way of fighting, his fire, his willingness to face the facts and tackle the problems. He is my source of inspiration.
SHE. What fascinates you about him?
AJ Can you imagine the life he had? A son of Italian immigrants born in the slums of the State of New York, who runs to the 1936 Olympics, becomes a fighter pilot, crashes with 596 bullets in the cabin, goes back on a plane, crashes again, and survives for 47 days at sea on a tub? The most profound aspect of this story is the question of faith. This ability to open our eyes and to see that we are not alone, to nourish ourselves with the love of a family, a fraternity, humanity; this ability to find the strength in oneself to desire to die for what one believes … These are great subjects.
SHE. And Louis himself?
AJ It’s a man, a real one. Someone who has the resource. It’s also a little for my children that I made this film. To teach them something about life that I could try to explain to them, but they will understand much better by following the path of a very great human being.
SHE. Now that your children have grown up, have they become aware of your celebrity?
AJ . They know we make movies. But also that dad makes furniture and builds houses and that mom likes to go on a trip with the United Nations. And they talk about both in the same way.
SHE. How do they react to being stared at by strangers?
AJ We try to avoid tensions. If we notice a camera, we tell them, “Oh, they just take a picture, they will not hurt you. It’s silly but it’s like that! ”
SHE. None feels a little lost in this permanent whirlwind?
AJ This is one of the reasons we stop at six children. We realized all the time we had to devote to them. Fortunately, they have two parents at home. With Brad , we coordinate. If I work, he stays with them. And, every night, we do the tour. We get news from everyone, we sit with each child separately to make sure we have listened to them all.
SHE. Brad and you have been together for almost eight years. What has changed between you?
AJIt’s funny, it’s the kind of question I do not ask myself! (Laughter.) What do I feel? Brad would be very curious to know! (She drinks a sip of tea and thinks.) We just … we’re a family. It is very different from the couple where you are only two people who inspire each other, challenge each other, complement each other, make themselves beautifully crazy. Brad and I are on the same page when it comes to values, the life we want, what we want to offer our children. And, in all these years, we have built a story. Now, when you have a story with a person, you are friends in a sense so true that there is a certain comfort, a deep love. All things that come from what you went through together. It does not mean that everything is always perfect – no one is – but we talk a lot and we take care of each other. The other goes before oneself, the family comes before us, it has become stronger in recent years.
SHE. You said you did not want to get engaged, and then you did it …
AJ Funny thing is, we forgot we were engaged. I do not even know how long we have been …
SHE. (interrupting) Two years …
AJ Thank you! (Laughter.) That’s funny. We did not need to get married, we did not miss it, we did not need to fix anything. Having been married every two years, we wanted to be sure that it was no longer a necessity. I was stunned that Brad asked for my hand.
SHE. Your children must love the idea …
AJ Children are very excited about this wedding idea. We can not tell them when it will take place. They thought it would be last year, but no! In fact, they have already made tons of drawings of us married and we have lots of versions of figurines to place on the mounted piece!
SHE. So, are they planning the wedding?
AJ We continue to ask them: Do you really want to get married or are you just looking forward to seeing the cake? (Laughter.) It’s a pretty unusual situation: it’s like we’re eight to get married! I think that marriage, in what is permanent, would reassure children. They understand what he represents. That’s why they like the idea that mom and dad are married.