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Those Who Wish Me Dead

‘I’ m drawn to characters that are imperfect’

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Cinemas are open again – hurrah! And Angelina Jolie is one of the Hollywood stars back on the big screen, in action thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead. Directed by Taylor Sheridan, the film is based on Michael Koryta’s novel of the same name and also stars Nicholas Hoult, Jon Bernthal, Tyler Perry and Aidan Gillen. Oscar-winner Jolie plays Hannah, a ‘smoke jumper’ [fire fighter], who comes across a traumatise­d 12-year-old boy [Finn Little] with nowhere else to turn. Here, the mum-of-six, 46, talks about what attracted her to her latest character, and more… are imperfect and finding their way through, because I am, and so many people are, who I hope are watching the film and identifyin­g. And I found her also quite… I found her kind of funny. She’s somebody that is just so off and inappropri­ate and not very good with children and a little reckless and a little strange. So I liked that. And I wanted to work with Taylor [Sheridan], I like the way he’s been making his films and I like his characters and I think his particular filmmaking, his slice of America and how he sees this country and the people in it with a respect and understand­ing, is very nice. that I met, you just get this, you know, to be a frontline worker and to have a life of service, a real service. We all think we have a life of service in one way or another, but to really be risking your life and getting out there and putting your life on the line and working that hard, takes a certain type of a person. And then the type of person who jumps out of an aeroplane into a burning fire, that also takes a certain type of person!

So, Angelina, what drew you to this project? I’m drawn to characters that

Did you meet real-life smokejumpe­rs in preparatio­n? Of the different smoke-jumpers

You always play such strong women, on screen… What I love about the

• Those Who Wish Me Dead is in UK cinemas now.

way that Taylor writes strong women is it’s not coming from someone who sat down and said, ‘I’m going to write a strong woman’ – and that’s the point of this. It’s somebody who just… he knows women are strong. He likes strong women. And he’s just telling good stories. And, to him, it’s not some unusual thing and I think that’s what’s special about how it comes across, it doesn’t come across that there’s these one or two, these unique special strong, tough women. You get a sense that it’s normal, in this world it’s normal that women are capable and strong and can do these jobs and you don’t really question it. And I think by not really questionin­g it, that’s the greatest service he does to women in his films.

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