To cast the children in the film, Jolie looked at orphanages, circuses, and slum schools, specifically seeking children who had experienced hardship. In order to find their lead, to play young Loung Ung, the casting directors set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away. The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie. “Srey Moch [the girl ultimately chosen for the part] was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time,” Jolie says. “When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back.” Jolie then tears up. “When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.”
After the internet called Jolie’s process “monstrous,” “sickening,” and likened it to Hunger Games for orphans, Jolie and Rithy Panh, the film’s producer, released statements defending the auditions and explaining that the outrage was based on the “false and disturbing” interpretations of VF’s story.
Jolie wrote that “parents, guardians, partner NGOs whose job it is to care for children, and medical doctors were always on hand” during the film’s production, and clarified that the “game” described by VF was merely a scene from the film the children were asked to perform:
I am upset that a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film, has been written about as if it was a real scenario. The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting. I would be outraged myself if this had happened.
“The point of this film is to bring attention to the horrors children face in war,” she added. “And to help fight to protect them.”
In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight over Facebook Live (yeeeeeikes), Drake Bell revealed that he regrets starting shit with former Drake and Josh costar Josh Peck earlier this summer over not being invited to Peck’s wedding to what’s her name.
“I should have just texted that to him, you know. I was just being cranky. It is what it is, dude. I love the kid. No hard feelings.”
Somewhere, Peck’s ears are burning, and the memory of a man called Drake Bell is fading like a flower inside his brain.
Kris Jenner is having the time of her life on this yacht?
- The headline of this story about Kim Zolciak-Biermann and her dogs is one mention of Donald Trump away from being 2017 in a nutshell. [People]
- After her recent home burglary, Hilary Duff hired a bodyguard. [ONTD]
- Mel B’s lawyers “submitted 403 pages of legal dockets” in an effort to “shut down” her former nanny’s libel case against her. [Daily Mail]
- Macaulay and Paris are simply best friends for life and this story is by no means uncomfortable! [E! Online]
- I’m not sure whether I should be annoyed by this story about Carmelo posting a photo of La La for her birthday. [E! Online]
- I am and will always be #TeamBrandon. [ONTD]