Angelina Jolie Reflects On “Heavy And Dark” Past, Says Children “Saved” Her

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In an intimate interview with Vogue magazine, Angelina Jolie revealed that motherhood has “saved” her from the recent crises she’s faced and admitted that, at the age of 48, she’s continuing to explore and discover her identity.

The conversation took place before the launch of Atelier Jolie, a project that combines the Oscar winner’s humanitarian side and interest in the fashion world. Her goal isn’t to create a personal brand, as many celebrities have done in the past, but to provide a creative space where talented designers can thrive.

Image credits: vogue

Image credits: vogue

“I don’t want to be a big fashion designer. I want to build a house for other people to become that,” she said.

Her goal is to build a multi-functional space that includes a design workshop, an art gallery area for local artisans, and a café run in partnership with refugee organizations.

The actress became a mother at age 26, a decision she is thankful for to this day. “My entire life changed. Having children saved me—and taught me to be in this world differently. I think, recently, I would’ve gone under in a much darker way had I not wanted to live for them,” she confessed.

She’s set to launch her new project, Atelier Jolie, in November

Image credits: vogue

Jolie adopted her first child, Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt, from an orphanage in Cambodia in 2002.

Prior to that life-changing decision, the actress had never shown any interest in motherhood.

“It’s strange, I never wanted to have a baby,” she said. “I never wanted to be pregnant. I never babysat. I never thought of myself as a mother.”

Two of her children, Zahara (18) and Pax (19), have been involved in the fashion and humanitarian project

Image credits: vogue

Later on, Jolie adopted daughter Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt in 2005 and became pregnant with Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt the following year.

In 2007, she and Brad Pitt adopted Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt. The following year, the couple announced they were expecting twins and welcomed Knox Léon and Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt.

“They’re better than me, because you want your children to be. Of course, I’m the mother, and hopefully, that safe place for them and that stability. But I’m also the one they laugh at—and I see them taking over so many different aspects of our family.”

In fact, the marks of Jolie’s children are visible on her latest project. Her eldest daughter, Zahara (18), a student at Spelman College, helped decide the location: 57 Great Jones Street, a two-story, graffiti-covered building in New York that used to belong to Andy Warhol. She also suggested making her mother’s characteristic silk slip dress in various nude shades. In the atelier’s doorway, a black canvas stenciled with white spray paint reveals the artistic interests of her son, Pax (19).

In the last decade, Jolie has divorced from former husband Brad Pitt and undergone a preventive mastectomy

Image credits: vogue

The past years have been challenging for the actress. Her divorce from former husband Brad Pitt, whom she met in 2004 on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, made the headlines in 2016, as have the various lawsuits and cases brought about by the split.

Additionally, Jolie underwent a preventive double mastectomy in 2013 after doctors estimated that she had an 87% risk of developing breast cancer due to a defective BRCA1 gene.

“I don’t feel like I’ve been myself for a decade,” she said

Image credits: vogue

“I feel a bit down these days. I don’t feel like I’ve been myself for a decade, in a way, which I don’t want to get into,” the former UN Refugee Agency Goodwill Ambassador said.

The star said she’s taking on fewer roles and only accepts projects that “don’t require long shoots.” Her latest film was Marvel’s Eternals back in 2021.

The actress revealed that her children “saved” her and taught her “to be in this world differently”

Image credits: vogue

“I’m still understanding who I am at 48. I guess I’m in transition as a person.”

Perhaps, she says, the answer may be hiding in her past: a past that was, as she explained, “heavy and dark,” and she’s proud to have survived, but one that reflected her rebellious nature.

“I was quite dark when I was young. I was a punk, not the popular kid — going to thrift stores, cutting things up, burning little teeny cigarette holes into things. That was me as a teenager, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Maybe that part of me wants to push back.”

Most people showed their support for the Oscar winner

Others, however, judged her for her words, calling her interview “boring”


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