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Angelina Jolie : Life Lessons from Your Favorite Star

Welcome to Life Lessons. This week, in celebration of Angelina Jolie’s first Marvel film Eternals — directed by Chloe Zhao — we’re flipping through the pages of our June 1997 issue, which includes an interview between the actor and her father, the Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight. The conversation came early in Jolie’s career — a year before her Golden Globe win for Gia, and just a few years prior to her Oscar win for Girl, Interrupted. So sit back and grab a pen—you just might learn a thing or two.

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“God, my earliest memories are of my brother, Jamie pointing the home video camera at me and saying, ‘C’mon, Ange, give us a show!’”

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“Neither you or Mom ever said, ‘Be quiet! Stop talking!’ I remember you looking me in the eye and asking, ‘What are you thinking? What are you feeling?’ That’s what I do in my job now—I say, ‘OK, how do I feel about this?’ And I immediately know, because that’s how I grew up.”

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“I have a certain energy, yeah, and it’s either needed or it’s definitely not needed. I know that I can stick out like a sore thumb, and there are some women I’m not ready to play.”

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“[Playing God] was very rock-‘n’-roll and fun and loud and say-what-you-want-to-say, dress wild and love wild — you know that fantasy. I really allowed myself to get into that world. Being the age am, I sometimes feel like a punk kid walking onto certain sets, but I didn’t this time. I felt very much a woman.”

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“As a young woman, there are parts I’ll look at that may not be in the best projects, but I’m starting out in this business and trying to figure out how I can make it work.”

“I’m having to do a lot to keep my clothes on and not be cast in girlfriend roles.”

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“Women have a certain sexuality, and I think their bodies are beautiful and I’m not embarrassed to explore that in a film. But there are roles you get offered that are vulgar and violent—just like there’s a side of me that’s vulgar and violent.”

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“In the films I’ve done recently, I’ve been learning a little more about the side of myself that enjoys being a light. I remember when I used to dress in all black and you’d say, ‘Just be pretty, hold your head up, be proud. Be a pleasant person and don’t cover yourself so much with all your darkness, your need to be a little crazy.’ Now, I have nothing against anything I’ve been in before, because I love all sides of me, but I have been experimenting more with that lovely woman side.”

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“I think it’s important, in between projects, for me to sit down with who I’ve just become and allow her to continue to evolve and find a home inside me before I go and become somebody else.”

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“I think I also need to learn to relax and not prepare too much, just enjoy life. I notice that my characters go out to dinner and have fun and take these great trips, but I spend so much time on their lives, I don’t have much of a personal life of my own. I have to sort of remember to fill out that little notebook on me.”

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