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Feature: Alexander

Angelina the Great

Mother power

We discover why Angelina Jolie signed on to play Colin Farrell’s mother…

Angelina Jolie has been voted the sexiest woman in the world, just as she’s about to be seen playing Colin Farrell’s mum!

The Oscar winning star of Girl, Interrupted, who also played action girl Lara Croft and the one-eyed adventurer in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, is Olympias opposite the Irish actor’s Alexander in Oliver Stone’s much anticipated bio-pic about the soldier king, who by the time he was 25 had conquered most of the known world.

And the reason that this casting, in a movie that also features Val Kilmer as Alexander’s father Philip and Sir Anthony Hopkins as his general Ptolemy, seems slightly bizarre is that Farrell is only a year younger than 29-year-old Angelina.

When we meet in Los Angeles, she smiles as Film Review mentions this somewhat odd generation game that’s being played by Hollywood, and admits that it had not gone unnoticed. “Like most people I thought it would be insane,” she says of the idea of Farrell portraying her son in Alexander. So to begin with Angelina had not really considered that it was a role that she might tackle. “I wanted to read the script out of curiosity and as an artist because I love Oliver Stone’s work. I was not expecting to identify with and love the character.”

A major strength of the script of Alexander, reckons Angelina, was that it was written by someone who had actually been at the sharp end of a bloody battle as Stone, of course, had seen action as a soldier in Vietnam.

“We have many writer/directors in this town who are wonderful but very few of them actually know war and death and this kind of understanding of life on a level that Oliver does know and has experienced at first hand. So when you read a script of his, he takes it to a place that he knows that is deeper and is based on something that you can’t quite put your finger on but it feeds you in a different way.”

Another factor that helped Angelina to decide to play Olympias was that she has become a mother, having adopted her three-year-old Cambodian-born son, Maddox. She nods when she’s asked whether it is easier to actually play a mother now that she is one.

“Oh yeah,” says a radiant Angelina. “I don’t think I could ever have played her if I hadn’t become a mother.”

Without Maddox in her life, the actress thinks that this was a role that she would have played very differently. “Because there are things that you assume about being a mom and then when you are one you find that they are different from what you imagined.”

by John Millar

Get the full interview, plus Colin Farrell on playing Alexander in
Film Review (Dec)

Photo © Warner Bros
Feature © Visual Imagination 2004. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Film Review (Dec), see below for ordering options
Film Review (Dec)
#651, December 2004
ships from Nov 4 2004
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