Philippine Daily Inquirer

Tom Cruise’s loss, Angelina Jolie’s gain


ally get to know your children. Then you can explain to them why something makes you nervous, why something is dangerous and why, if they want to do that, they have to practice and become very skilled. Then they can do it safely. You try to figure out how much it means to them. You must have really strong communicat­ion. But you do have to figure out each thing day by day.”

Asked what the real Angelina Jolie is about, she said: “You should probably ask my kids. They’ll tell you. I have a private side that belongs to Brad and my children. But it’s just my softer side—like my mom’s and it’s hidden a bitmore.”

Angelina also brought up her mom, actress Marcheline Bertrand, who passed away in 2007, when the topic turned to how she’s bringing up the kids on spiritual matters. “My mother was Catholic,” she said. “She followed the teachings of Jesus. She was a lovely woman. She raised me to believe whatever I chose to believe in life. She taught me about many religions. So I’m teaching my children about all religions across theworld.

“We tell them that we work with different people—this person is Muslim, Jewish or Christian and this is what they believe in. We let them go to different temples and churches. Whatever it may be and they decide. I feel the same. I don’t cling to one. I look at human beings and find good in them and try to work together.”

So what are the weaknesses of this seemingly perfect actress and person? “I have many but I am not going to point them out,” she said. “My weaknesses are also my strengths. It’s my family and if anything ever happened to my family, it would break me. I love them deeply. The thought of them not being well or in danger is my absolutewe­akness.” defector accuses her of being a Russian spy, Angelina combines derring-do and her dramatic heft to create cinema’s newest engaging action icon. Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor head a strong supporting cast.

Tom Cruise’s loss is Angelina’s gain, since writer Kurt Wimmer originally made the “Salt” lead character to be played by amale actor. But Tomfelt the project was too close to his own “Mission: Impossible” franchise. When the producers considered Angelina to play the spy on the run, the main character’s gender changed. But we imagined that it wasn’t a matter of altering the protagonis­t’s name from Edwin to Evelyn Salt.

“The big climax at the end was that he was able to say ‘I love you’ to his wife,” Angelina said. “I said that if it’s a woman, she would never have had a child in that (risky) situation. Also, for awoman to come to terms emotionall­y and say ‘I love you’ is not a surprise. So we had to get rid of both those things. That changed thewhole structure of the movie.”

Remarkable stunts

The stunts that the 35-year-old Angelina does in “Salt” are impressive by themselves. But to think that she leapt between moving trucks, bridges, high-rise ledges and helicopter­s about eight months after she had the twins is truly remarkable.

“I had a C-section so I had a bit of recovery,” Angelina said, tossing her hair which is longer these days. “I started to run again and it took mea good week before I was actually physically able to do that after the surgery. On the first few days on the set, I felt like I wasn’t going to make it through. But then I got stronger, enduring the rehearsals and preparing—it actually helped me to recover from the pregnancy.”

Dream come true

Evelyn Salt is, in a way, Angelina’s dream come true: A chance to play a character like James Bond. “Like many of us, I grew up watching Bond films and then the last few years, the Bourne films,” she explained. “I’ve loved doing action films but for women, they’re always based on fantasy. It’s hard to think of one that’s just a solid lead character unless it’s dramatic and about a struggling woman. I wanted the chance to be a Bond.”

Is she under contract to do a “Salt” sequel, we asked. “Contractua­lly, I am not bound to but I would if they asked me,” she said eagerly. “I would love to do a sequel but you never know. This character has so much yet to explore in her life—with her family, coming to terms with who she is. Because of the way the story is set up, she could be anybody, in any country, speak any language, so we have an opportunit­y to change. As an actress and as somebody who loves to travel, it would be nice to be able to explore the world with her.”

In the meantime, she has wrapped up filming another movie, “The Tourist,” which combines her sultry screen presence and talents with Johnny Depp (it’s their first time to be together in a film), director Florian Henckel von Donnersmar­ck and the beautiful city of Venice.

“Florian is extraordin­ary,” she replied when asked about this can’t-miss combinatio­n. “The reason I wanted to do the movie was Venice. I actually said, ‘I would like to find a nice film with a nice character but something that would be nice for my family.’ They said that there’s a film that shoots in Venice. I said, ‘Great, I’d like to read (the script of) that one.’

Love letter to Venice

“Then we said that we have to find a great European director because we don’t want an American’s version of this European-style film. Florian, who is one of my favorite directors, came on. I loved his ‘The Lives of Others.’ I couldn’t believe that he would accept this film because it’s a lighter one. It’s a love letter to Venice in many ways. Johnny was just extraordin­ary. He’s a sweetheart and a great actor.”

The itinerant Pitt-Jolie family lived in Venice during the shoot. “It’s this great gift that I’ve been able to give to my children because of work and, financiall­y, we’re able to live abroad,” she said. “When we were in Italy, they were learning Italian. They were traveling and learning about the history of Venice and Italy. We drove them to Florence and showed them the statue of David. When we were in France, they learned that country’s history.”

The family got to spend a lot of quality time. “That’s been good to us—those long French lunches and Italian dinners. We go for walks with the children and explore. We tend to be very rushed in America. Europe has been a good pace for us,” Angelina said.

How is she raising the kids to follow rules of behavior and at the same time feel free to express themselves? “I communicat­e,” she replied. “They’re six very different individual­s. Some of them are braver than the others and are getting physically bold. I have to try to get them to climb down off something.

“If you get to know them as people, you re-

E-mail the columnist at rvnepales_5585@

 ??  ?? THE 35-year-old star performed stunts, 8 months after giving birth via C-section.
THE 35-year-old star performed stunts, 8 months after giving birth via C-section.

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