‘She’s a wonder’
This week saw the Toronto International Film Festival, with A-listers coming from far and wide to showcase their new projects.
Among them was 42-year-old actress Angelina Jolie, who was promoting her upcoming Netflix film, First They Killed My Father, based on Khmer Rouge’s four-year regime of terror and genocide in Cambodia in 1975.
Attending the premiere on Tuesday, Angelina, who directed the film, was joined by her six children – Maddox, 16, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 11, and nine-year-old Knox and Vivienne.
Her eldest son, Maddox, whom she adopted with estranged husband Brad Pitt in 2002, is from Cambodia and is supposedly the motivation for Angelina’s involvement in the project.
‘I’m doing this for [Ung], for her family, for Cambodia and very much also for Maddox,’ Angelina explained. ‘So he learns about who he is and becomes that much more connected to his country.’
‘It was a way for him to walk in the steps that most likely his birth parents walked,’ she explained to Vanity Fair earlier this year.
Maddox was not just at the premiere to support his mother, with the 16-year-old also making his Hollywood debut, serving as executive producer on the film.
‘He was the one who just called it and said he was ready and that he wanted to work on it, which he did,’ Angelina explained to The Guardian. ‘He read the script, helped with notes and was in the production meetings.’
‘I was trying to help wherever I could,’ the 16-year-old explained, going on to praise his mother when asked what she was like to work with.
‘She’s fun, funny and easy to work with,’ he said. ‘She’s a wonder.’
Angelina also opened up about her relationship with her children at the premiere, calling them her ‘best friends’.
‘We’re really such a unit. They’re the best friends I’ve ever had,’ the 42-year-old explained. ‘Nobody in my life has ever stood by me more.’
She continued: ‘None of it’s easy. It’s very, very difficult, a very painful situation, and I just want my family healthy. They’re getting better.’