It’s her, it’s her! It’s coming, “someone whispers behind me. A reverential silence sets in the hall, all heads turn in the same direction and it’s as if the world began to move in slow motion: I look up and there’s Angelina Jolie, 42, accompanied by her son Pax, 14, who descends from a ladder holding the railing.
First, I notice the pink heels leap eleven, then the gray cigarrette cashmere trousers, and finally a taupe cloak, the same one she wore the next day when visiting the Élysée Palace, during the meeting with the “First Lady of the France “Brigitte Macron, wife of French President Emmanuel Macron.
“So, is she really that beautiful?”, My 17-year-old daughter asks me a few hours later, while I hand her a notebook with an autograph and a dedication of the American star (writing is angular, signature indecipherable).
Yes I confirm. A beauty, sweet. And it is this sweetness that surprises me, especially after all that has been said and written about the presumed toughness and intransigence with which she has been managing Brad Pitt’s separation since September 2016. During our interview, Angelina will focus on the importance of kindness, inherited from his mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who died in 2007 at age 56.
But, returning to our first contact in the luxurious rooms of the Guerlain boutique on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Angelina is the face of Mon Guerlain perfume, and introduced us to the new Eau Mon Guerlain Florale, always very well accompanied by her six children: Maddox, 16, Pax, 14, Zahara, 13, Shiloh, 11 and the twins Vivienne and Knox, 9. As Brad Pitt no longer lives with them, the actress never separates herself from her large family.
Grazia: You were one of the people who accused producer Harvey Weinstein of making inappropriate assaults when he was younger, do you think anything that is happening with the #MeToo movement can help win the battle for gender equality?
Angelina Jolie: “Every word, every act counts.” There are many ways to combat discrimination. I found this working with the Sexual Violence Prevention Initiative, which I co-founded five years ago, or my missions to the Center for Peace and Security of Women.
What is it?
It is a program that I developed in collaboration with the London School of Economics in 2015 and which sets the goal of ending rape as a weapon of war. A cause that interested me while I was directing the film “In the Land of Love and Hate, about the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.” It is not possible to optimistically imagine the future in a world where crimes against women remain unpunished.
Her latest film as director “First Killed My Father,” also talks about a conflict, the Cambodian genocide told by a child’s eyes. You have a strong connection to Cambodia. Why?
“It is the country that has seen me reborn. In our lives, there is a journey to be traveled, a search, a kind of book that forces us to go back and question and improve ourselves.
Cambodia had this effect on me as soon as I crossed the borders (during the filming of the long Lara Croft: Tomb Raider). He opened his eyes to the tragic fate of the refugees and became a kind of second home for me. It is not by chance that it is the country of origin of my first child, Maddox.”
Where did it happen?
“I was at an orphanage.I was playing with a child sitting on the floor when suddenly I thought: my son is here.The idea of becoming a mother turned into certainty, even though until that moment I thought only vaguely about this “.
When you drove FTKMF, which earned you a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 2018, did you have to deal with a heavy emotional load?
Yes, and it was a stimulus. I was proud to film in a country where I feel accepted and welcomed. Cambodia immediately made me feel worthy of being the mother of one of her sons. ”
You revealed that you said yes to the collaboration with Guerlain because the olfactory universe of the French fashion house reminds you of childhood. As?
“My mother wore a brand-name compact powder, but when I was a child, the rare cosmetics she wore were all signed by Guerlain. So as I was growing up, I began to associate the brand with a certain vision of femininity that I share.
And how would you describe it?
“A woman does not have to show her muscles to prove herself. I believe in the power of sweetness, sensitivity, and kindness. It’s the strength of us women, and that I also learned from my mother.”
How do you remember her?
“There was no aggression in her, she was always apologetic for being very kind, but it was only her kindness and the tenderness to support me. I would like to say to men: let us be ourselves, do not make us lose our femininity to feel less vulnerable. ”
You have had preventive removal of your breasts and ovaries due to a high risk of cancer. Why did you decide to talk about it publicly?
In health, knowledge is very important. I wish my mother knew she could reduce her chances of getting sick. I had this opportunity, did some genetic tests and opted for a preventive surgery. It was a personal choice, and I’m not saying that all women are like me. But all women have the right to know that this possibility exists. ”
You are also a Special Envoy to the United Nations Refugee Agency. The will to change the world for the better comes from where?
“From my punk past. Being punk, in some ways still is, not accepting the status quo, fighting, because things always evolve for the better, even if sometimes there is a tendency to go beyond limits.
If you had to say some merit of yours, what would it be?
“I know how to love people for what they are, I accept them without prejudice. Beauty resides in diversity, which is the salt of life and makes it more interesting.”
What is your next project as a director?
“For now I do not have any. On the other hand, as an actress, I should start recording the sequel to Maleficent soon.”
How do you see yourself in the role of the protagonist, being a witch?
“It’s an interesting role, it shows another way of being a woman and incorporating femininity, and then there’s nothing boring about it.