Angelina Jolie has a robust body of film work that would make any actress glimmer with pride, but if you ask the Maleficent actress, her true pride lies with her activism projects and motherhood. In recent years, these two aspects of her life have taken centerstage, seamlessly flowing into her creative work as an actress and a director. “First They Killed My Father is the film that marries those worlds. But at the heart, it is the story of difficult years in my son’s country. So my motherhood also influences my work. And no, I don’t see a division,” she tells Vogue in an interview highlighting World Refugee Day. She also reveals how her very first trip to Cambodia with the United Nations changed her life and opened up her heart to motherhood as well as making her acutely aware of the global refugee crisis.
“In 2001, I was in a school program in Samlout [in Cambodia] playing blocks on the floor with a little kid and as clear as day I thought: ‘My son is here.’ A few months later I met baby Mad at an orphanage. I can’t explain it and am not one to believe in messages or superstition. But it was just real and clear,” revealed the mother of six. Angelina would then go on to adopt two more times, her son Pax Jolie-Pitt, 16, is from Vietnam, and her daughter Zahara Jolie-Pitt, 15, is from Ethiopia.
The Original Sin actress expressed how regardless of the way you have your children, through adoption or birth, “each is a beautiful way of becoming family.” Angelina also clarified that the words adoption and orphanage don’t have a negative connotation in her home. “‘Adoption’ and ‘orphanage’ are positive words in our home. With my adopted children, I can’t speak of pregnancy, but I speak with much detail and love about the journey to find them and what it was like to look in their eyes for the first time,” she said. The actress also stated how all adopted children are a “beautiful mystery” that comes into people’s lives. “All adopted children come with a beautiful mystery of a world that is meeting yours [...] They have roots that you do not. Honor them. Learn from them. It’s the most amazing journey to share. They are not entering your world, you are entering each other’s worlds,” Angelina continued.