Anderson Cooper & Angelina Jolie
Lucky for the audience and viewers at home, bombshell actress and philanthropist Angelina Jolie stopped by the set for an entire hour-long special. Anderson seemed especially excited about the big day and wasted little time introducing Angelina, calling her the “biggest star on the planet.”
The audience gave a loud round of applause and remained standing as Anderson opened up with a question about Angelina’s Thanksgiving holiday.
As it turned out, she and husband Brad Pitt made the turkey for the entire family. Dinners at home are a nightly tradition in the household – kids can’t bring video games to the table and the movie star parents leave their Blackberries in another room.
The conversation turned to Angelina’s children, all of whom were present in New York City for the day. They all love to travel, Angelina professed, whether the locale was a big city or a tent in the middle of Kenya.
Angelina Jolie: “In the Land of Blood and Honey”
Of course, the big news for Angelina Jolie at the moment is the opening of her new movie, “In the Land of Blood and Honey.” This marks Angelina’s first foray into the writer and director’s chair, as she admitted to being nervous about the film, set for a limited December 23rd release.
The movie is based on the 1990s conflict in Bosnia. Anderson actually reported from Sarajevo during the war and immediately felt a connection with the actress turned director as they discussed the project. Angelina conveyed her heartfelt sympathy for that part of the world, as she grew to care about the people there and the issues that still exist in Bosnia during her time researching and filming the movie.
The mood turned somber as Angelina discussed the weight on her shoulders in producing a film with such a serious subject matter. She spoke at length of the sense of responsibility she felt in making a truthful film that avoided being political. In sum, her goal was to illuminate how fathers, mothers, and children would have lived a different life, if not for the war.
She asked herself: if the situation involved Brad and her children, how long would it take before succumbing to the pressure? How long could a family hold on in the face of adversity?
Anderson Cooper: Angelina Jolie & War Difficulties
The most difficult part of directing was responsibility, she admitted, and the heaviness of the information after countless hours spent researching the subject. She found it amazing that the conflict was sustained for so long before any intervention. In speaking with people to learn more about the years of conflict in Bosnia, Angelina admitted to carrying the people with her throughout the day (and hoping not to cry). Growing up, she said, it was easy to become absorbed in your own problems. Travel has since made her realize those sentiments were ultimately selfish and ungrateful to those less fortunate.
She met mothers who carried children across borders to feed them. She met people who later died over a small difference of pills that costs the Western world mere cents to manufacturer. Angelina expressed her anger and frustration at the sadness and pain in the world. Throughout this portion of the interview, Angelina truly came across as a heartfelt individual – somewhat of a rarity in today’s celebrity world.
Anderson Cooper: Angelina Jolie’s Kids
Anderson again turned the subject back to her children, asking a question that is undoubtedly difficult for any parent: how do you explain war to your kids? The answer: it doesn’t make sense, but it’s reality. Her children know “mommy is going to do good” when she undertakes a project of this magnitude.
The conversation took a lighter turn as Anderson poked fun at Angelina’s wild side in years past, asking how she can possibly punish her kids as teenagers after they find out she used to wear blood around her neck. Her response: “I’ll say yes I did!” – to the laughter of Anderson and the audience.
Rumor had it that Brad Pitt may quit acting by 50, Anderson noted (although he said he wasn’t buying it). Angelina was quick to point out that she had heard nothing of the sort but would ask him at dinner. That brought another round of laughter from the audience!
For the shooting of “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” Pitt stayed at home with the kids every morning and then served as Angelina’s still photographer during the afternoons. The couple alternates working and taking care of their children and, as it turns out, whoever stays at home with the kids is happiest – not the one on set in a given month.
Her children all love to travel and question when a week passes without getting on an airplane. Angelina is sure the day will come when they will want to settle down, but at this point she refused to have that conversation. I can definitely see the travel bug is still a strong influence throughout this remarkable family.