In a long interview with Vanity Fair’s Evgenia Peretz for their September cover, Angelina Jolie talks about her new movie, her children and that’s about it.
As was the case with her press tour earlier in the year, those hoping to read Jolie’s insight into the dramatic end of her marriage to Brad Pitt will be disappointed; Peretz dedicates a few paragraphs to the sumptuous, “creamy-white” interiors of Jolie’s new home, her caftan and her various sofas, before letting Jolie take the wheel to discuss her latest film, First They Killed My Father—a film that is the culmination of Jolie’s philanthropic work in Cambodia and beyond, and a project that sounds very close to her heart and the hearts of her family. Maddox, the son she adopted from Cambodia, has an executive producer credit on the film and Jolie is still very close to Loung Ung, the author of the book the movie is based on. It’s clear that this story is what Jolie would like to focus on and nothing more. Reading between the lines, we are clearly meant to surmise that in the absence of Pitt, Jolie is thriving.
Here’s Peretz’s description of Jolie and her environment. Please remember that Jolie is indeed a real woman and not a CGI representation of upper-class mores.
No one’s there, and all is quiet except for the delicate sound of fountains, arched in a row over a swimming pool. A number of doors to the house are open, as if posing some riddle from a fairy tale—which one to enter? Inside, the vibe is airy and calm: all open windows and cross-breezes, creamy-white unlit candles, soft creamy-white furnishings. Finally she emerges from the other side of the house and glides across the room in a creamy-white, floor-length caftan. Her hair is down, her feet bare, only a touch of makeup, her skin luminous. She smiles widely—a beneficent, ethereal wood nymph.
Magazine writing is a real kick in the pants. After the spell of Jolie’s presence lifts, however, we learn quickly that Jolie is a normal mom, tending to her six children and moving through her fancy home doing the kinds of normal things that keep a household running—answering questions, saying hi to her kids, spilling tea on the couch and not caring. It’s an entirely different point of view from the Brad Pitt interview that ran in GQ earlier this year, during which Pitt discussed his new life as a man who drinks matcha and loves sculpting. Though Peretz says that Pitt “won hearts and minds” with that GQ profile, what that doesn’t take into consideration is that until now, Pitt’s story was the only one on record in such a format.
We will likely never hear anything concrete from either party about what happened in their marriage or why specifically it ended; Jolie is tight-lipped throughout the piece, framing her reluctance to talk about the divorce as a means of protecting her children, as she has elsewhere.
Jolie has indicated that, for the sake of the kids, she doesn’t want to talk about the breakup. And yet it seems she wants to get her point across, which calls for a careful choice of words, something of a high-wire act. “They’ve been very brave. They were very brave.”
“In times they needed to be.” Other statements are similarly cryptic. “We’re all just healing from the events that led to the filing . . . They’re not healing from divorce. They’re healing from some . . . from life, from things in life.”
The whole article is worth a read, so if any of this excites you, take a look here.