Angelina Jolie: "When you have six kids, you are the boss of nothing!"
The Hollywood star talks about home life and working with son Maddox on her latest film, Netflix's First They Killed My Father
You’re a Hollywood star with six children aged nine to 16 – describe your TV set-up at home.
We’ve just moved into a new house where all our televisions are connected – I don’t know why, that’s just the way it is. I will turn on the news and then, suddenly, Disney Channel will come on. At that point, it’s over for me. The kids take control.
Who’s in charge of the remote control in your home?
Very often it’s Vivienne [Angelina’s nine-year-old daughter with Brad Pitt]. It’s never me.
Do you ever get to watch your favourite shows?
If I want to watch something, I have to watch it on my computer when the kids are asleep. Otherwise, it’s very hard. There should be a parent box set up for me.
The kids are all in bed, what are you watching?
I like to watch the news on CNN or the BBC. I also love The Walking Dead. I’m really looking forward to the next season.
Dinner time must be hectic with six children running around?
I’m not the best cook. I am going to cooking classes and I’ve been trying to cook more at home, because the kids all hang out together when I do that. They love it, but they often take over. I’m very impatient and a little erratic – but I am getting into it now.
Do you have a speciality dish?
I don’t. My best recipe is when I accidentally put something together and it just happens to work out. I get really excited when that happens. Personally, I can’t follow a recipe. I am one of those people. I don’t like to follow the rules.
Do the children help out around the house?
The children are amazing. It’s so moving to see how much they help each other. The big brothers help the little kids, and all of them help me. They have really come into their own.
Your eldest son, Maddox, is an executive producer on the new film you’ve directed, First They Killed My Father. How did that come about?
I met Maddox in Cambodia when he was three months old and I’ve always wanted him to tell a story from his country. I told him, “Son, one day you’ll be ready. You will tell me when it’s time to go deeply into your country. But I need your help. You’ll have to work and you’ll have to be there every day with me.” And one day he said, “I’m ready.”
How involved was Maddox in the movie?
He’s 16 now and he has known Loung Ung, the woman upon whose childhood under the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia the film is based, all his life. He went deep into the research and into the edit. He was great. And also, because the movie is from a child’s point of view, it was really helpful to have him there to say, “You are losing my attention in this scene.” As a film director, you have to take control.
Does that mean you’re a bossy person?
When you have six kids, you are the boss of nothing!
First They Killed My Father is available now on Netflix