One on One With Angelina Jolie on The Changeling

Angelina Jolie may be playing an anguished mother in her latest film The Changeling, but in this exclusive interview, she explains why she's never been happier.

Angelina Jolie is in a buoyant mood as she sweeps into New York for the premiere of her new film The Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood.

"This is such a beautiful time for me," the elegant, green-eyed actor says.

"When I look back on my life, I never really believed that I would find this kind of happiness on so many different levels.

"I think I trained myself to expect less, but meeting Brad and being with him has shown me that sometimes it just takes the right circumstances for you to meet a good man who enjoys being with you and working towards the same goals in life. Brad has always been there for me."

A year after her appearance in the harrowing A Mighty Heart, Jolie delivers another remarkable performance in The Changeling, a searing drama based on the true story of a child's disappearance in 1928 and his mother's struggle to discover the truth.

Jolie plays Christine Collins, a telephone company supervisor who refuses to be pressured by corrupt Los Angeles police into going along with a scheme wherein her missing son is "returned" to her.

Unfortunately, the child is not her real son but a substitute paraded in front of the press by a police force desperate to curry public favour.

The 33-year-old Jolie has not only managed to sustain her work for UNICEF amid her film career; she is now the proud mother of six children, three adopted (Maddox, Pax and Zahara), and three fathered by Brad Pitt (Shiloh and twins Vivienne and Knox).

You look great. How did you get back in shape so quickly after giving birth to the twins?

I have six kids and I'm breast-feeding!

As a mother, how hard was it for you to play a woman whose worst nightmare is realised when her son goes missing in The Changeling?

It was difficult because the idea of one's son being kidnapped is one of the worst things any parent can imagine. The loss of a child and not knowing where they are or what is happening to them is probably the absolute worst thing in the world. As a mother, it was harder for me imagining that somebody was abusing my child while they were wondering why mummy wasn't coming to save them.

What made it particularly troubling for me to put myself into this woman's head was my own relationship with my son Maddox. I just couldn't shake the thought of him through the whole film.

Why Maddox particularly?

Because Maddox is my eldest and also because he says things that are similar to what the boy in the film says.

I also talk to Maddox the same way I talk to the little boy. So when Brad and I saw the movie we noticed strange similarities, especially when the boy says: "Am I too heavy?" Mad says that all the time. And I tell him: "Oh, never! But one day you're going to carry me!"

How are you handling being a working mother?

I have a big, wonderful family and I get to travel and be creative with my films and that's tremendously rewarding and satisfying.

I've always loved being an actor and the ability to tell stories and express emotions and making a connection with audiences.

The publicity that comes with that is a reality of the business and it's only the paparazzi that is really a bother sometimes when Brad and I are with our children.

How do you stay so positive?

By doing the things which are important and meaningful to you and not worrying about the rest. How can I complain about anything when I wake up in the morning and I'm surrounded by so much love with Brad and our children and the feeling that comes from sharing my life with them?
Does having twins make things a little more complicated now?

It's a little more stressful in terms of your time because you have two very tiny babies wanting your attention. But it's also so beautiful to be part of that.

Once you have three or four children, having a few more isn't going to alter your lifestyle that much.

Brad and I have found a way to organize our time with the children and so we stick to that. It's also a fascinating new experience for me to have twins and look after them and have the other children seem so curious about them.

A family is a social unit in its own way and watching the children interact is part of your role as a mother.

Has Brad seemed particularly taken with the twins?

He's just so happy and having twins is something neither of us ever expected and I think that makes it all the more special for us both. When I see how much love is in Brad's eyes for the twins and for all our children -- it's a very moving experience for me. I never wanted to become pregnant and have children that way unless I had come to know Brad and see how loving he was with Maddox and Pax. So that was a big step for me.

How will you integrate the twins into the life of your family?

It's a matter of indulging the curiosity of the other children and making them feel part of the whole process. Things like helping prepare bottles or changing diapers or doing little things that help me. It all works. Kids are great at adapting.

What about teaching your kids about religion and culture?

I want to teach them about all religions, and I'm trying to find a way to do that. And when it comes to the subject of adoption, like when my daughter, who's African, wants her hair to look straight like mummy's . . . and I look for a Barbie that's African, and the African Barbie has straight hair! And you know, why has Disney never made a film with an African-American princess?


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