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INT: Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie plays history’s first MILF when she stars as Alexander the Great’s mother Olympias in the Oliver Stone epic ALEXANDER, opening this Wednesday. Determined to see her son take the throne as the ruler of Greece, she’s more political advisor than parent. This is no soccer mom. Equal parts Lady Macbeth and Hilary Clinton, she employs a realpolitik that would make Kissinger proud. And she’s into snakes. Sure, it requires a little suspension of disbelief to buy Jolie as the mother of an adult Colin Farrell, but I’m not complaining. After all, she’s really hot. But Jolie is much more than just a hot chick. She’s a hot chick who cares. Well-known for her travels to various impoverished and war-torn nations, she gives residents of refugee camps something far more valuable than food, shelter or potable water; she gives them the opportunity to meet Angelina Jolie. God bless her.

Angelina stopped by the St. Regis Hotel in Los Angeles last week to talk about her recent travels, her son Maddox, and her experience making ALEXANDER.

ANGELINA JOLIE

Are you as big of an overprotective mom as you character? You don’t play with snakes…

I do play with snakes with Madd, actually. Madd loves snakes.

Really?

Well, yeah.

And are you overprotective?

I do feel like I need to be his mother and father. So I do feel I need to be a…I’ve tried to find the place in me that can discipline…just to be both, to be strong enough and not just be sweet all the time. But I have found that and it does come pretty easy. I do think that if I’ve lived at this time and I was in her situation, I would not have been very different from her, because I believe that she had to…at the time when women had no rights, when if he did not take the throne and the younger child took the throne, they could have been exiled and possibly killed and they would have been, you know, not needed.

And she eventually was killed.

She was stoned to (death). Yeah. So, I think it makes sense. Of her time, I would agree with her. But this time, no. I do believe my son has a destiny in some way for, like his country. So, half his life he can do what he wants, but the other half of it he will be responsible and he will be committed to certain…you know, to his country.

You’re grooming him to take over the world?

There could be worse leaders.

What about being Colin’s mom? How was that?

I think it was as strange as everybody thought it would be, for a few moments. But Colin committed to it and so did Oliver and we all believed it. And I feel in the end it worked.

We’re you nervous at all about the age thing?

I was nervous for a lot of reasons, just to feel that I would let everybody down with this (performance), because it’s not just being older; there’s a weight that comes with age that I had to try to go to and think about the death I’ve seen or the losses I’ve had or the things that exhaust me from just the excitement of youth, to get to a place of feeling more weathered and beaten down, simply because, you know, and there’s that wisdom I don’t have yet of being a 50 year old woman or a 40…I don’t have it and I didn’t want to pretend to have it. So just to try to get to that heavier place is more what I was concerned about.

What about working with Colin?

He was amazing. He’s a great guy and he’s a great actor and he played a son of a woman in those scenes, and he just was that to me in those scenes.

Any surprises? Because he’s got a reputation as a wild man…

Oh, surprises in that way? Not really, but you know I suppose I have the same reputation…we all have the same reputation on this film. So we kind of came together and everybody was like, “Well, here we are, and we’re the Greeks.” So…

What about the snakes? Were you familiar with them before this project?

I was a little familiar. Certainly not as familiar as I needed to be for this. So I had to spend a few days…they just kind of wrapped snakes on me and I’d just walk around the room where I just got to know them, until I was so comfortable that I could be totally at ease with them. But it took a little while. And they’d make sure they’d feed them before they’d be…so they weren’t overly hungry. But they would get restless.

Snakes were part of her overall philosophy, right?

And she followed Dionysus, which is the God of chaos. So she had this whole…the more I’d read about these rituals…and it was interesting because it was almost, in that time you’d think, “What is this place she’s going to?” If you put her in a modern place, you’d see a modern woman who was divorced by a powerful man who was abused by him, just trying to hold on to protecting her child and being able to parent. And she goes to this odd place of ritual, and something that she can feel and believe in as strong and is her power, something that she can, in this corner, feel…it was very interesting.

And she talks to the young Alexander about holding it and not being afraid, I think there’s that thing of, “We can’t have fear.” Especially at that time, you can’t be…and I’m a bit like that with my son, if he…certain things that I know he’s gotta face and he can’t…he’s like crying…it’s like you’re nurturing, but that’s life. Life is painful, life can be scary, life can be…we gotta just move through it and you can’t…we gotta be tough, a little.

Do you fear anything?

I fear something happening to my son. That’s the only nightmare I’ve ever had. That’s the only thing that makes my heart race. It’s the only…

And you have another child now, right?

No.

Is it not happening?

No, it’s not.

Is it ever gonna happen?

Uh, maybe in about six months. Madd’s not quite ready, I think.

How old is he?

He’s three.

You were supposed to work with Oliver Stone on Beyond Borders and it didn’t happen. Did the two of you talk about wanting to do a project together?

I think I said I’d kill him if he didn’t one day work with me. Apparently, that’s the way to talk to Oliver. That’s the way to get a job. (laughs) Yeah, I have always wanted to work with him and I think, you know…but then when the day came, I was terrified.

Why?

Just because I think he’s a brilliant mind and an amazing director and I think he could pull out the best in you but he also will expect great things. Mainly, he cared about this film so much, and he’s been working for 13 years on these characters, just developing them, and so to become…it’s like Colin, I’m sure felt the same way. We all did. To become these people that he needs to bring to life and he needs you to be as he sees them, so he can tell this story, and you just don’t want to disappoint. I just didn’t want to disappoint him.

Can you talk a little about the accent?

It was simply that she was considered an outsider. And so, through her sound, we wanted to know that she wasn’t the same as Colin and Val and not from the same place.

Sounds Eastern European, almost.

It’s a mix of things. I mean, really the accents…some films, you see period films and everybody’s got a British accent. And that somehow, some people don’t criticize that and they think, “Well, that sounds right.” Because who are we to know what exactly these people sounded like? The most important thing is that they were all a mix and there was no clear one thing or the other. And that she was different. Whatever it was, she was different. And also I just wanted to find a voice that I thought would fit who she was, because I think some accents help one thing or the other, and since she was slightly dark…

Did you try different accents?

We tried different sounds, yeah. All the different sounds of the region. And some sounds, somebody would have said, “Ooh, that we know was historically (accurate).” But when I screamed and when I talked in those sounds it didn’t sound good. Something about her needed to be that thing that is almost seducing him with power. So, it was simple as figuring words that were certain…rolling the r’s or how to say “Alexander” a certain way or how to…So, I took pieces from a lot of different things.

Have you done more volunteer work since writing your book?

Oh yeah. I was in Darfur about six days ago. Two weeks ago I was on the Burma border. And Madd went to his first refugee camp and visited with orphans there, which was very emotional for me to see, because they looked…In Burma, the situation is there’s just been a change and an even harder guy has stepped in and I think…I’m terrified that we’re gonna eventually get in there and find out what’s going on and it’s going to be similar to what my son’s country looked like when they finally discovered what was going on. It terrifies me.

I’m stunned at what we all know are extreme human rights violations and they seem to keep going on. But it was amazing to spend time with the refugees and the people and all the different things they’re doing. So many of them are in there just focusing on how to farm, how to make pots that can serve. They’re trying to create things even out of like old tins from world food program things, because they’re trying to…So just spending time with these amazing people who are figuring out ways to survive with this situation and being with 20 year old kids who have not been outside of the camp for ten years because they’re locked in.

And then Darfur was…it’s such a complex situation, and to be so careful with how you put things because you upset one people and then somebody else doesn’t give access, and so…but there is no place there that’s completely safe and if you’re sitting and talking to a…and I’m sure that the Sudanese government would love people to feel that it’s safe and people can start returning and it’s all good, and it’s not.

Questions? Comments? Manifestos? Send them to me at [email protected].

Source: JoBlo.com

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