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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Andrew Pulver

Angelina Jolie: ‘I wouldn’t be an actress today’

Angelina Jolie in 2022.
‘Hollywood is not a healthy place’ … Angelina Jolie in 2022. Photograph: Yuri GripaS/UPI/REX/Shutterstock

Angelina Jolie has said that the demand to “share so much” means she wouldn’t be an actress if she was starting out now.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Jolie said that the current need for performers to live public lives would have deterred her from making a career as an actor. “I wouldn’t be an actress today,” she said. “When I was starting out, it wasn’t as much of an expectation to be as public, to share so much.”

Jolie also had harsh words for the Los Angeles showbiz environment that she was raised in, as the child of actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. “Because I grew up around Hollywood, I was never very impressed with it,” she said. “I never bought into it as significant or important.” Jolie also suggested that her upbringing led her to embrace involvement in political and social causes: “I grew up in quite a shallow place. Of all the places in the world, Hollywood is not a healthy place. So you seek authenticity.”

She added: “Why do I like spending time with people who’ve survived and are refugees? They’ve confronted so much in life that it brings forward not just strength, but humanity … I realised my closest friends are refugees. Maybe four out of six of the women that I am close to are from war and conflict.”

Jolie also referred to her separation from former husband Brad Pitt, saying that “after my divorce. I lost the ability to live and travel as freely”, and that she “will move when [she] can” to her home in Cambodia.

Jolie and Pitt separated in 2016 and have been entangled in a long-running legal dispute over their divorce proceedings. In 2021 the private judge involved in adjudicating their child custody arrangement was removed over an undeclared conflict of interest, meaning the previous agreement was set aside. In 2022, Pitt started legal action to prevent Jolie from selling her share of the French winery they owned, and Jolie launched a countersuit alleging Pitt was abusive toward her and two of their children.

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