Angelina Jolie is known for taking on tough roles, with characters like asylum-bound Lisa in Girl Interrupted, which won her a Supporting Actress Oscar, and Mariane Pearl, whose husband was killed by terrorists, in A Mighty Heart.
But the mother of six says playing a mother who has lost her child in her newest fim, Changeling, was even more devastating than playing Mariane on screen.
"As a mother, it was harder for me imagining that somebody was abusing my child while they were wondering why mommy wasn’t coming to save them," she says in an interview with Parade.com. "As a mother, that’s just the worst possible scenario. So this film was very, very painful."
Her own children, Maddox, Pax Thien, Zahara, Shiloh, Vivienne and Knox, with partner Brad Pitt, are famous just for being the kids of huge celebrities, something that can be tough for the little ones to deal with.
"We have a high-profile family, but I don’t want my children to be scared when we have to quickly get into the car because some person is running at us with a camera or something," she reveals. "It is a fine line of wanting them to be aware of strangers but not making them afraid. I suppose that, like with everything with children, it’s just communication and being honest with them."
So how does Angie deal with the focus on her famous family?
"I’m just a mom and I’m very grounded by my family," she admits. "I’m very happy, and I’m so lucky. The world can like me, hate me, fall apart around me, and at least, you know, I wake up with my little kids and I’m happy."
And although Angie and Brad have said they have no plans to tie the knot, they seem to be in it for the long haul together.
"I don’t want to spend my life pretending to be somebody else, and I don’t want the person next to me to have to pretend ever, because we have a long life ahead of us," she says. "So you just want to be able to be who you are in every moment, and that’s the only way you’ll ever be truly happy."