Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Disney. My travel was paid for to attend this event.
Well…. Well…. Who is the most amazing person to interview ever? Angelina Jolie! This week I attended the #MaleficentEvent courtesy of Disney to see the premiere of the movie Maleficent as well as interview some of the cast, including Angelina Jolie. When Angelina walked into the room, she was wearing a gorgeous black dress with stunning black heels. She greeted everyone and sat down to start the interview. I was told this was the first time she had been interviewed by bloggers, which was very exciting. She had a gorgeous smile on her face and seemed to be very at ease. We all took turns asking questions and she didn't just throw out an answer. She answered each question with a passion in her voice and she genuinely seemed to connect with us as she spoke.
The first question we asked was what prepared her for the role of Maleficent and what brought her to doing a Disney film?
I was moved by it as a mother. But I was also really moved by it because I thought of myself as a little girl, and I thought of all the kids I know, and I just think of that thing of feeling different, feeling outside, and also as a woman, feeling abused and this ideal if you’ve ever been abused and then you kind of, as a woman, put this wall up.
And you become darker and you’re not able to be this soft person that you were born to be. And then what could possibly ever bring you back? And the, however much we can say, but the thing that brings her back is very much the thing that brought me back. And so, I was very, very connected to it.
After I heard this, I broke down a little bit inside. You see, I was abused by my stepfather for 7 years. I sat there and I thought, could this be the reason I am so drawn to this character myself? I felt like Angelina was literally talking straight to me. Like she knew I needed to hear that. Angelina told us she was fascinated by Maleficent as a little girl. She said she really never identified with the princesses. She had gotten a call from her brother when he heard about the movie being made. He told her she had to play this role. I perked up when she said…
I really didn't know how you could possibly make a story where people have any connection to, or empathy for, somebody that curses a baby? It’s just, it’s going to be impossible. But I think she did an extraordinary job.
I could totally see where she was coming from but once you see the movie, everything just falls into place. Angelina told us it normally takes her about two and half hours to go through makeup. She said they had to put her hair in these funny little buns to keep the headpiece in place. She said the horns were detachable to make the headpiece more light weight. Sometime the voice of the villiain can be the key point in making the character who he/she is. So how did Angelina find that perfect voice? Well…. She had a little help!
My kids helped me find it. I always tell stories, I’m sure we all of us have a few voices. I was giving them baths, where a few nights in a row, I would tell them stories in the bath. I was trying out voices and a few they’d say, please stop. And then sometimes they’d listen and they’d kind of be more engaged. So I kept trying and trying and trying. Then I did that voice and they couldn’t stop laughing. And so I kept doing it more and more. I had to do it the other night for bedtime. So, for the look and everything, I would kind of run it by them, and if it made them happy, or made them smile, or they were interested in it, you know, then-then it was right.
When you think about Angelina, you cannot forget all the Humanitarian efforts she does. So how does this amazing mom juggle everything thing she does?
Well, I think the most important thing we do is we raise our children with love and compassion to become great people and thoughtful of others and that’s the most important thing. If everybody did just that, we’d have a very different world. We need to encourage our children’s education and help them to be conscious of the world around them. I think mothers have the most powerful role. I think beyond that there is so much to connect to and there is so much that can be done. As you see now with the situation with the Nigerian girls, that’s not government, that’s the masses speaking out and pushing for government change. It sometimes doesn’t feel like every voice counts, but it really does. There’s a conference in June I’d love for you to be aware of that I’m doing, the Foreign Secretary of England, June 10th-13th 2014. It's called PSBI, it’s the largest summit ever to end sexual violence in conflict and it’s in England. It’s open to the public. We’ve realized that it’s not just governments, and it’s not just NGO’s, everybody has to come together. So NATO will be there, peace keepers will be there, governments will be there, and it’s open to the public, and NGO’s, and victims, and doctors will also be there. So everybody together will spend four days and I think that’s what these things take, it takes all of us very tightly working together.
I love the fact that there is so much more to Angelina than just acting. She is doing something to make a difference in this world which shows how beautiful she is on the inside. Angelina's daughter Vivienne played the role of young Aurora in Maleficent. What was it like working with her daughter on the set?
I thought, what four or five year old little girl is not going to be scared of me in person. That my character can be really mean to and say things like, I don’t like children? We realized it was probably Vive. It took us a while to make sure that, that was an okay thing to do. The first day she had to catch the butterfly and she didn’t, you know, like any four year old, she just decided she didn’t want to. So there’s some really, really funny outtakes of Brad and I… I’ve actually got the stick with the blue ball, that’s supposed to be the butterfly and I’m kind of running in front of her. Then Brad’s off the edge of the cliff, kind of trying to like dance and make her jump into his arms. She made us work all for that. The people at Disney did say it was the funniest dailies that they’d ever seen. It exists somewhere, I haven’t seen them, I should get them. It was lovely to do it and be able to work with her.
Doing this interview brought me closer to Angelina as a person. She was so gracious enough to give us a glimpse of not only what it's like to be an actor and the process of playing a role but what it's like to be a mom in her eyes. She didn't have to share those little intimate moments with her family like she did, but I am so grateful that she did. Maleficent comes out in theaters May 30th and I will be sharing more interviews from the cast and my thoughts on the movie soon.