Angelina Jolie do an interview with Elle.com about her film, Unbroken and her life
What artistic need does directing films satisfy for you?
I prefer directing to acting. There is huge freedom that comes from being behind the camera. It brings a lot of responsibilities as well, but is intensely rewarding. Particularly the chance to help draw out the best in young actors, like Jack O’Connell in Unbroken, who is a remarkable talent.
There was a lot of discussion about how challenging it was to make Unbroken. When you reflect back, is there anything from the shoot you still think about now?
I tend not to look back and dwell on a project once it is finished. But I do remember how intense the atmosphere was on-set filming some of the tougher scenes [such as] when Louie is being brutalized. It was very moving how always, after those scenes, the actors involved would check [and make sure that] everyone was okay and look out for each other.
Was there any scene or moment you had to cut from the final version of Unbroken you wish could have been in there?
Louie’s life was so extraordinary that is was impossible to capture it all on film. So there were inevitably things we had to leave out when telling the story. But as director I had the final say and felt that we were able to do justice to it. I do look forward to audiences being able to see the scenes that were cut [that are] now on the DVD. When Phil discusses his marriage to Cecy on the raft, when Fitzgerald stands up to the Bird, and the full Cinderella play are among the scenes [about which] I am excited will now be seen.
What do you think is the greatest lesson we can learn from Louie’s story?
Like many of the greatest human stories, it is about the capacity of regular men and women to rise above adversity. It reminds us never to give up, and that having the spirit to fight is what really matters. It is powerful because it speaks to the potential inside all of us.
Louie obviously went through a great struggle. Do you think there’s wisdom to the idea that struggle helps you grow?
I do believe in the old saying ‘What does not kill you makes you stronger.’ Our experiences, good and bad, make us who we are. By overcoming difficulties, we gain strength and maturity.
Who are some young, up-and-coming filmmakers you’re supporting?
I like to work with artists from around the world. There are so many new inspiring filmmakers. I had the privilege recently to work with Ethiopian filmmaker Zeresenay Mehari and his wife on the filmDifret. They are that unique balance of very thoughtful conscious filmmakers who are also brilliant, original artists.
If you had the power to redirect the American media’s attention away from gossip or non-news reporting, what issues would you highlight?
It is not really the nature of the news, but what we do with the information we have. We know more than ever before in history about conflict and injustice happening across the world, but the will to translate that knowledge into pressure and action at a global level somehow seems to be lacking. Time and again, after massacres and atrocities, the world says, ‘never again.’ But in Syria today, to take just one example, these things are happening with impunity in the full knowledge of the world. We need a greater focus on solutions—not just on information.