“I was miserable, I was completely unhappy.”
Angelina Jolie has opened up about a range of topics in a new podcast from the Hollywood Reporter. The 43 year old is currently promoting First They Killed My Father, the film she directed in Cambodia. Word is it’s a strong contender for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. So, Jolie is doing what most actors and directors do when they have a movie they wish to sell to the academy: spilling the beans on her private life.
Jolie spoke at length about her upbringing, and her early acting but let’s skip the entree and get right to the main meal: Brad Pitt. Jolie, who filed for divorce from Pitt in September last year, said she wrote and directed By the Sea, (about a husband who drinks too much, and a wife lost in her own grief) in order to try to communicate with Pitt.
“We had met working together and we worked together well…I wanted us to do some serious work together…I thought it would be a good way for us to communicate. In some ways it was, and in some ways we learned some things.”
Jolie is being her usual winning combination of candid-yet-vague-on-details here, so let’s dissect this a little. Pitt has admitted that he was “boozing too much” in front of Jolie and the kids for years. He gave up drugs once the kid situation happened, but he didn’t give up drinking. The incident that immediately preceded the divorce announcement involved an intoxicated Pitt and their son, Maddox, on a plane. Pitt has since committed himself to sobriety.
So, is Jolie saying that she was trying to get Pitt to face up to his drinking problem by writing him a character with one? Signs point to yes.
Jolie goes on, “But there was a heaviness probably during that situation that carried on and it wasn’t because of the film. It was something that we were dealing…things happen for different reasons, and things…why did I write that exact piece? Why did we feel that way when we made it? I’m not sure.”
She’s not sure? Can we guess and say it was a cry for help?
But Jolie’s no dummy, she’s smart enough to know that externals aren’t the answer, “I’d done what everybody said you should do, become an actor, this is what should make you happy right? People tell you if you look good enough, if you have money, if you have success, if you’re an actor, this is… these are all the things that should make a person happy, I was miserable. I was completely unhappy.”
Next, she talks about her kids, comparing them to herself. She doesn’t name anyone, but might we guess she’s talking about Shilo?
“I always made very strong choices. I was always very strong-willed. I didn’t blend in very well. All of those things… I think I’m still a bit like that. And I don’t know… I see that same wild in my children in that sense of wanting to kind of break barriers. I see them finding something very strong and needing to go their own way, and it’s against what society’s norms are. And I think that’s wonderful and I think that’s the thing that eventually makes for change.”