Angelina Jolie on a rare interview about her home life with her children ; while opening up about educating herself during self-isolation and her thoughts on ending racism in the US.
The 45-year-old Oscar winning actress spoke with Harper’s Bazaar UK, while sharing two candid photos of herself amid lockdown.
Angelina says she is putting “all her energy into her” six children amid lockdown. She adds, “Like most parents, I focus on staying calm so my children don’t feel anxiety from me on top of all they are worrying about.”
The Maleficent star lives in a mansion in Los Feliz. It is a five-minute drive from Brad Pitt’s compound. The former couple have reportedly started getting along as they share their custody of their children.
Brad and Angelina met in 2004 while starring in ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’. They tied the knot on 2014. They parted ways on September 2016.
The couple shares three adopted children: Maddox, 18, from Cambodia, Pax, 16, from Vietnam, and Zahara, 15, from Ethiopia.
Angelina has donated $200,000 to the NAACP
They also have three biological children: Shiloh, 14, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 11.
During the lockdown, Angelina has made her children her prime focus.
She also shares an update on the family pets. She reveals that tragedy struck on a bunny, her youngest daughter’s pet.
“During the lockdown, Vivienne’s bunny passed away during a surgery, and we adopted two sweet little ones who are disabled. They need to be in pairs. They are so gentle and it has helped to focus on their care with her at this time. And on the dogs, and snake and lizard…”
Angelina has donated $200,000 to the NAACP legal defense fund while making her children her focus. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, she has taken interest in the fight of racism in the US.
“‘Having six children, I am reminded daily of what is most important,” she says.
“But after almost two decades of international work, this pandemic and this moment in America has made me rethink the needs and suffering within my own country.”
Angelina notes that there are more than 70 million people who have had to “flee their homes worldwide because of war and persecution. And there is racism and discrimination in America”.
The actress and activist wants changes in the policies. And the legal system too that only offers protection and rights to people of a certain race. She uses her daughter, Ethiopia, as an exmaple.
“A system that protects me but might not protect my daughter – or any other man, woman or child in our country based on skin color – is intolerable,” she said.
“We need to progress beyond sympathy and good intentions to laws and policies that actually address structural racism and impunity.”
‘It is time to make changes in our laws and our institutions’
While adamantly fighting against racism, she has praised people who are protesting for the same; people who have risen up and fought for change in the wake of the pandemic and the protests.
“It feels like the world is waking up, and people are forcing a deeper reckoning within their societies,” said the former model.
“It is time to make changes in our laws and our institutions – listening to those who have been most affected and whose voices have been excluded.”
Jolie is not the one to complain about boredom during the lockdown. Rather she looks outside her home and what is happening around the world.
“I’m deeply worried about the impact of the pandemic and the global economic crisis on refugees,” said the humanitarian.
“They are people who have been driven from their homes and countries by bombs, rape and violent persecution in all its forms, long before this virus.
They live with xenophobia and racism and prejudice every single day and are some of the most vulnerable people in the world when it comes to the economic consequences of the pandemic.”
And she worries about the abuses within the home.
“The other horror is domestic violence. The reality before lockdown was that the most dangerous place for a woman to be was in her home. During lockdown, the abuse and level of violence has risen,” stated the star
“Above all my concern is for the children. The number of children we know are being abused at this very moment keeps me up at night. There is a global health crisis for children from abuse, neglect and the effects of that trauma. And not nearly enough done to protect them.
“During lockdown, the abuse and level of violence has risen.”
‘we still turn a blind eye to domestic violence’
As far as what she has been reading these days; the list includes Time magazine, The New York Times, the BBC World Service and BLM activists online.
“Most recently, I’ve watched the documentary I Am Not Your Negro about James Baldwin and the civil-rights movement in America,” said the Tomb Raider star. “Before bed, I’ve been reading Unreasonable Behaviour by Don McCullin and reflecting on how journalism has changed in the last half a century.”
Angelina has also been working on a children’s book with Amnesty International. “The reason rights do not reach a child in a country or home is that adults are blocking them,’ said the Salt star. ‘So in many cases, the child cannot depend on the adults.”
Angelina adds, “we still turn a blind eye to domestic violence” because we “often don’t believe survivors, we don’t put the rights of children first or take their trauma seriously.”
The star also notes that “child-protection services are not adequately resourced and funded”.
“They lack proper training. So do judges,” she explains. Before adding that it is often women who are the biggest victims of these systematic inadequacies.
“When girls are out of school it leaves many more vulnerable to child marriage, child labour, sexual abuse and other violations of their rights,” adds the star. “The pandemic looks set to have knock-on effects on girls in many countries. We know it but still there is inertia.
“The UN is warning that the pandemic could result in two million more cases of female genital mutilation and 13 million more child marriages over the next decade. That is horrific.
“There is no easy answer but sounding the alarm on this, urging governments to anticipate where girls are going to be most vulnerable and to act, is essential as a first step.”