Angelina Jolie talks family, cancer and ‘Maleficent’

Angelina Jolie, with Brad Pitt at the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday, says she can slip into a softer side at home.
Angelina Jolie, with Brad Pitt at the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday, says she can slip into a softer side at home.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Angelina Jolie knows that she can appear to be a bit austere in the public eye, but when she’s at home, the brunet beauty says, she relaxes and makes sure to have fun.

The 38-year-old actress-director, who appears in character for “Maleficent” on this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, told the mag she’s a different person at home.

“Outside my home I can be somewhat serious,” Jolie said (via People). “We laugh and we play, and I’m light again, and I’m a kid again, and I’m loving and soft again, because they’ve brought that back in my life.”

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The Oscar winner and recipient of this year’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and her fiance, Brad Pitt, who picked up his own Oscar on Sunday as a producer of best picture winner “12 Years a Slave,” have six children.

Jolie’s comments seem to be echoing Pitt’s words from his May 2013 interview with Esquire, further confirming the brood’s insular dynamic.

“I have a handful of close friends and I have my family and I haven’t known life to be any happier,” Pitt told the men’s mag. “I’m making things. I just haven’t known life to be any happier.”

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Jolie, who is currently editing the World War II drama “Unbroken,” which she directed, also explained why her youngest girl, Vivienne, 5, was the only kid who could play the toddler Princess Aurora in Disney’s upcoming take on the Sleeping Beauty story.

“We think it’s fun for our kids to have cameos and join us on set, but not to be actors. That’s not our goal for Brad and I at all,” said Jolie, whose bewitching makeup, horns and costumes easily could have freaked out any child, actor or not. “But the other 3- and 4-year-old [performers] wouldn’t come near me. It had to be a child that liked me and wasn’t afraid of my horns and my eyes and my claws. So it had to be Viv.”

We knew it was simply a matter of time before one kid became the clan’s breakout star, though son Pax and daughter Zahara are extras in the film’s famous christening scene that sees Aurora cursed. Daughter Shiloh,who wasn’t in the film, also came out with a new understanding of the “Mistress of All Evil,” Jolie said.

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In the interview, Jolie also discusses her medical struggles. In May 2013, she penned an op-ed piece in the New York Times about her decision to undergo a series of surgeries, including a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery, because of her predisposition to breast cancer. She still remains at risk for ovarian cancer.

“Wherever I go, usually I run into women and we talk about health issues, women’s issues, breast cancer, ovarian cancer,” she told EW. “I’ve talked to men about their daughters’ and wives’ health. It makes me feel closer to other people who deal with the same things and have either lost their parents or are considering surgeries or wondering about their children.

“I was very, very moved by all the support and kindness from so many people,” she said.

“Maleficent” is scheduled to hit theaters on May 30.


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