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Feature: The Good Shepherd

Angelina Jolie

Having made a career playing strong women, Angelina Jolie tells us how she convinced director Robert De Niro to give her a role in his hard-hitting CIA drama

Speaking to Angelina Jolie, undoubtedly one of the most famous women in the world thanks to a string of hugely successful films and a high-profile relationship with fellow A-lister Brad Pitt, is a surprisingly relaxed experience. Sheís less celebrity extraordinaire, more laid-back modern woman who just happens to be a Hollywood star. And, as such, she has a simple way of dealing with the often-frenzied media attention. ďIíve made it a point to not let it change the way I live my life,ď she says in a matter of fact way. ďOther than I carefully plan my holidays, or where we stay, to try and ensure some kind of quality of life thatís private and nice for the kids. But we simply donít let it effect us. I think the only time itís hard is when the kids want to go somewhere. Iíve had so many people offer to take my children to Disneyland or places that I canít take them, and they donít understand how upsetting that is. So we plan to find ways to do all of these things. And there are worse problems!Ē

And with such a pragmatic head on her shoulders, the 31-year-old Jolie seems completely relaxed as she immerses herself in the obligatory publicity tour for her latest film, The Good Shepherd, despite the fact that sheís taken over a year out of making movies to concentrate on her extensive oversees charity work and, of course, giving birth to Shiloh Nouvel, her daughter with Pitt. But the Oscar-winning actress, whose last film was 2005ís Mr & Mrs Smith, is throwing herself back into the fray with The Good Shepherd, Robert De Niroís second directorial feature which looks at the birth of Americaís Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) through the eyes of one of its founders, Edward Wilson (played by Matt Damon). And Jolieís portrayal of Wilsonís wife Clover, a tragic figure who finds herself swept aside in the wake of her husbandís ambitions, may seem a surprising choice for an actress who is known for playing strong women in films like The Bone Collector (1999,) Tomb Raider (2001) and Alexander (2004). It was this chance to try her hand at something a bit different, however, that tempted Jolie. ďI do see [Clover] in the end as being as strong as a woman could be at that time, but I did like that there were many things about her that were broken. And often I donít get to play that part,Ē she explains.

But she reveals that director De Niro took a little bit of convincing of her suitability. ďI think thatís why it took a while for Bob to decide that I should play that part, because she is more subservient, she is more vulnerable. As an actress it was a great challenge and, as a woman, as much as there are certain things in my life I do feel strong about, thereís pieces of me that are broken.

Read the full interview, plus Robert De Niro and Matt Damon in
Film Review (Mar)

Photo © Universal Pictures
Feature © Visual Imagination 2007. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Film Review (Mar), see below for ordering options
Film Review (Mar)
#680, March 2007
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