‘An Interview … Or Something Like It’
By age 16, Angelina Jolie had moved out from beneath her family’s wings and begun modeling. She grabbed a few spots, and also had parts in music videos, most notably one by the Rolling Stones. She began film studies at the New York University (also where Adam Sandler had just graduated). She soon gave up on school and began working with the Met Theatre Group in Los Angeles. Although Angelina was not yet certain that acting was what she wanted out of life, but she definitely thought it sparked an interest and so kept at it.
By 1993, Angelina had decided to pursue acting full time. A forgettable first role in ’Cyborg II: Glass Shadow’ followed, but soon thereafter Angelina nabbed a role in ’Hackers’ alongside Matthew Lillard and Jonny Lee Miller. The film got good reviews for Angelina, but incredibly bad reviews for the film. Regardless, Angelina got her first husband. She and Jonny Lee hit it off, and they married soon after. The wedding had Angelina wearing leather pants and a white t-shirt with her husband's name written in blood on her back. But, blood apparently wasn't thicker than water. Within a year, the two were separated, but their divorce wasn't finalized until 2000.
A slew of under-appreciated and yet impressive roles followed, most notably in the Joyce Carol Oates adaptation of ’Foxfire’, but then came ’George Wallace’. Gary Sinise played a large role in the film which received a great deal of critical acclaim, as did Angelina. A Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and an Emmy nomination later, and Angelina was suddenly the talk of the town. But it was her starring role in HBO's ’Gia’ (based on the life of model Gia Carangi) that skyrocketed her to success. The film was a huge hit, both with audiences and critics alike. Another Golden Globe, this for Best Actress, followed, as well as another Emmy nomination.
’Pushing Tin,’ ‘The Bone Collector,’ and ’Playing By Heart’ followed each receiving mixed reviews, but all coming back with one thing in common: Angelina was excellent. But, it was ’Girl, Interrupted’, a film that was supposed to re-launch Winona Ryder, that in fact catapulted Angelina into superstardom. She won an Oscar, stole the film out from under Winona, and was quickly established as the actress in Hollywood.
But with fame also comes the scrutiny of the public eye and her rather public ‘devotion’ to her brother and subsequent marriage (and therein divorce) to actor Billy Bob Thorton (formerly involved with Laura Dern) after an alleged mental institution stay all gloriously added to the euphoria known as Angelina Jolie.
What’s it like living in Angelina Jolie’s world ? ”I’m just honest and I like that I don’t have to worry about what I say in life or try to pretend to be somebody else ! Nor do I have the time or energy for it and don’t want to live that way.”
What pisses you off most about the business ? ”That sometimes things are taken the wrong way and it’s crazy to be misinterpreted and it bothers you sometimes, but there’s also a hell of a lot people who don’t know about me. People know maybe one-tenth of my life,” she motions making a small air gap appear between her thumb and forefinger, ”and because it’s maybe a certain kind of life, they assume that that’s everything, but I have my secrets,” she finally smiles.
Secrets ?! Any ‘secrets’ you can tell me now ? ”OK, well, I think it was the London Telegraph that told everyone that I wore a padded bra as Lara Croft for the ’Tomb Raider’ movie. So, I’ll make it real simple for you. I’m a 36C. In the game she’s a double D. In the movie she’s a D. We split the difference," she laughs.
Wow, this is great ! Any other ‘secrets’ to spill ? ”Just ask me anything and I’ll probably answer you !,” she leans in smiling as she grabs for her water bottle.
OK then, rumor has it you’ve had bouts of therapy recently for one reason or another. Is this true ? ”I do my own therapy quite a lot. My choice of characters is my therapy, from one to the next. Like, in ’Playing by Heart’ there is a need for love, somehow she's not very focused on a purpose and work. Amelia was next. Then I go to ’Girl, Interrupted’, a complete sociopath with no emotion and no sensitivity. It was my own way of tapping every side and works real well for me.”
Did you enjoy making ’Life Or Something Like It’ ? ”This film was great to do and it was so much fun, but even through the process of it we didn’t want it to become too jokey. We all went into it knowing what could be the obvious jokes about it, how it could not work, how it would be really campy, and so I’m just happy all the way through the process when something has been a solid thing. I’m still looking at it so much as that way, but I know myself that being such a nutty on-screen person actually turned out real well. Making ‘Life …’ was just a shit load of fun !,” she laughs again.
Would you agree that ’Tomb Raider’ suddenly brought your body into more homes than ever before ?! “Almost every other suggestion for a movie I’ve done has been for a short, brown haircut and leather pants because that’s what a tough girl is now,” she laughs. ”A tough girl couldn’t possibly be a curvaceous woman who also is comfortable with her sexuality. And so many women are like, ‘Well, we don’t like the woman who’s comfortable with her body and flirtatious because that means she doesn’t like other women or that means she’s too flirty. We’re not comfortable with her.’ The reality is, nobody actually knows what sexual preference she has. That’s one reality. And the thing is, she’s just free. More than anything, she’s athletic. She has the things that make her Lara Croft. We also knew there were lots of questions about what she was going to be wearing and whether she was going to have a shower scene. There are moments where, and it’s not an intentional thing where she’s being teasy or sexual. The entire movie was made for the people that like her. It’s one of those movies you do where, when there’s a moment where you finally accomplish something, you want them to be with you and rooting for you. That’s what it’s for. She’s become a real person. We were aware of all the things that people are looking for, like whether there was a shower scene, so we didn’t ignore that and put a bit of it in, but didn’t really show her body, didn’t really do anything overly sexual.”
So, what about the rumors of 'Tomb Raider 2: The Cradle of Life' ? "Yeah, there's some truth to the rumors," she gently laughs. "If it all goes ahead this time I'll be chasing after a Chinese crime syndicate whose head man is a cold-blooded killer," she sneers comically. "But, I want to be much, much stronger in this one. I'll be going a lot underwater in the next movie. I'm just curious about what gadgets can be used underwater — it's like James Bond."
Rumor has it you turned down a role in Charlie's Angels ? ”There was never an offer, but they'd asked me and talked to me. Their selling points were: strong characters for women, and I'd been able to do that; that it will make you a big star, which is frightening and not exactly a plus; and that it's women being able to be sexy. All very fun, but it would have just been a month of work ! For me, I didn't watch it, and I don't get dressed up. For me, ’Gone in 60 Seconds’ is my fun movie — and I did it with the guys,” she flicks her right eyebrow up expressionly.
How did ’The Bone Collector’, your first real starring role in a big studio Hollywood film come together ? ”Phillip [Noyce, the Director] and Marty [Bregman, the Producer] had seen ’Gia’, and they had to convince the studio. I wasn't a name to sell tickets. They had to fight and adjust the budget, do a lot of things. For me to lead this movie was insane at the time,” she admits with a furrowed brow and a smirk.
Finally, what were your childhood aspirations ? ”When other little girls wanted to be ballet dancers, I kind of wanted to be a vampire !"
Interviewed By Kevin Gomez
To read our DVD Review of 'Life Or Something Like It' just click here and be whisked away !
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