Angelina Jolie is a mom, a sex symbol, an actress and a video game heroine. As she prepares for the release of her new sequel, “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life,” she took the time to speak with myself and a phone line full of other student journalists straight from Sri Lanka.
I was wondering how doing a movie that focuses so much more on outer actions compares to doing one like “Girl Interrupted”… that focuses so much more on inner action?
It’s very different. I think that’s a very good question. They’re very different, I’m very fortunate to be able to do both because I couldn’t just do films like Tomb Raider. It’s kind of the side of everybody, the side of you that’s very cerebral and deeper than your soul that needs an outlet, and then the side of you that just is very physical and free and wild that needs an outlet, so they both balance each other well in my mind anyway.
In your previous press interviews and blurbs over the years, you come across sounding very personal, very passionate about your trade. What would you say is behind the Angelina Jolie that captivates the hearts and minds of audiences across the nation and the world as well?
: My, God! I love communicating with people, I need to share and I felt very connected to everybody, so I haven’t felt kind of divided and like I’m talking from a separate place. I think most people feel they know me and they actually do in many ways.
What made you want to come back and film a second “Tomb Raider?” Do you enjoy making action films or is the character of Lara Croft that you enjoy?
It’s a bit of both. I think if anybody, probably if somebody said to you: “Do you want to spend seven months, we’re going to teach you five new skills and you’ll go to five new amazing places and then have an adventure?” It’s hard to resist because they are real adventures and they’re fun to do, but also it was good with the baby this time because you get in shape, you have a lot of time and it’s a certain kind of a film, so it’s fun to do now that I have a son.
How do you balance filmmaking with being a mother?
: Being a parent is harder than anything I’ve ever done, but it’s also the greatest thing in the world so it’s a very delicate balance. He comes to work with me in the morning and we have breakfast, and then we have lunch together, and then his bedtime is late, so I have a few hours after work everyday and things like that. He kind of makes everything worthwhile, so it makes it easy.
Looking back on how like your career dates back to “breaking through” in movies like Hackers, where you were catching people’s attention early on, in doing the second Lara Croft movie coming out this summer, what can you say about your career, how far you’ve come and what you’ve accomplished?
: I think with my crew I went through like everybody. I went through kind of just wanting to get the next job to then being public, which was not easy for me. It’s a bit strange because I’m just a very normal, normal person, so being suddenly a bit public. But I think now I’ve come to a place where I’m happy that I can be calm about financial things. I can do a lot of good with the success I’ve had and I’m able to continue to work, so I’m pretty secure about family. I guess I’m at a point in my life where I feel I can do other things but films. I guess I haven’t decided to start living and do films, but I’m just grateful I’ve been able to work.
Angelina, with what’s going in the world right now, I’m sure it’s a lot different world view being in Sri Lanka than sitting back here in the states. What do you find is the reaction from people there and what’s the reaction from yourself, not being in the states with what’s going on over in Iraq?
: I’ve kind of been studying the difference in press in the world, because it’s been stunning to me. Sometimes I talk to my mom at home and the way she’s getting her information or exactly how it’s being presented, and then when I move from Tanzania to Dubai to Cambodia, it’s all presented slightly differently. I’m frustrated when I see other situations like being in Tanzania and seeing people flooding out of the Congo still, and knowing that that has been going on for decades. Then being here in Sri Lanka, and knowing that the last two decades there has been war and many people dying. There are many, many places that do need attention and support. It seems to go from hot topic to hot topic or whatever area seems to be of concern for maybe whatever reason. I guess I’ve been questioning why that place now. Why do I keep seeing people running out of other areas and then not being helped?
The tattoo of Billy Bob – do you have any plans on removing that or have you started already to remove that?
: Yes, it’s pretty close to gone. It’s been lasered at the dermatologist a few times.