New Angelina Jolie film faces backlash over child actor casting

The casting methods for First They Killed My Father have been labelled as “cruel” and "exploitative" online


Angelina Jolie’s new Netflix film First They Killed My Father has been fiercely criticised for the “cruel” methods used to cast child actors.


In an interview with Vanity Fair, Jolie explained how casting directors created a game to find out which of the Cambodian children she was auditioning was right for the lead in the historical thriller about the regime of Pol Pot.

The casting included placing money in front of the children – who were mostly from orphanages and slums – and asking them to think of reasons why the needed it. The director would then pretend to catch the child and take the money away. 

Here is the extract from the interview by writer Evgenia Peretz: 

First They Killed My Father is based on a true story about the Khmer Rouge genocide which killed almost two million Cambodians in the late 1970s. It is told from the perspective of a five-year-old girl. 

The response to this casting method has been met with outrage online.

Jolie has also come under fire from human rights groups for casting members of the controversial Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in her film.

Advertisement has contacted Jolie’s representatives and Netflix for comment.