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Alexander - Angelina Jolie Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. Being a mum yourself, how did you approach your performance in Alexander, especially the things she was capable of?
A.
I think the difficulty is to imagine... when you first read about the things she did, you can't in the modern day understand or make any kind of sense of it. But I think if most women put themselves at a time when women had no rights, and understand this kind of a family structure where it's the next born child was the son and he became king, he would not be needed at all, so the survival was different, and the things she had to do in order to survive were different, and so if I lived at that time I may not be very different from her. But today I'm a much softer version.

Q. With so much source material when you're playing a historical character, where does that end and where do you start layering on the humanity? Is it a help or a hinderance?
A.
I think, for me, the only real pressure is that these people really existed; that as you get into it, you start to actually imagine this really was a woman, this really was a man, so you do start to feel a responsbility, whether you think they were a good person or not. Whoever they were, they existed so how am I representing them?
But it is an amazing thing to just think about whether we've come very far, or whether we have actually gone backwards as people - you know, in terms of where they were at and what they were doing. So I think you can learn a lot.

Q. One of the love stories in Alexander seems to be between yourself and your son, played by Colin Farrell, which is very strange. How did you approach that?
A.
I didn't actually see, and didn't approach it as anything unusual in that way in terms of the relationship or anything. I had researched the mother and I did actually feel that she was connected to him in a very strong way, and her need for him and her passion for him and her focus on him was extraordinary and direct and that's all there was.
I do think she cares for him and wanted him to be strong and therefore I don't think she would mess with him in a way that might confuse him. That was always my... and I also as a mother can imagine how it would break the child.
So therefore I thought no, but there was something unusual and maybe even more powerful that she has some kind of hold on him and affected him in a different way.

Q. I know that you filmed part of the movie in Thailand, so did you have anything to say about the recent tsunami disaster?
A.
I think we all, like everybody in this room, are just shocked and absolutely horrified, and hearts out to everybody in this situation. And I think we all still don't understand exactly the scope of what's really truly happened and how many years and years it's going to take to help rebuild and get back on track and survive the present situation.

Q. More than a million children have lost their families in the tsunami, so can I ask in your capacity as a member of Unicef what you think of the relief effort so far, and what can be done?
A.
I'd love to adopt all of them, personally! I think, of course, there has been a wonderful response, especially people. Living in England, the response of the English people overnight was extraordinary, and I think people have pushed their governments to do even more, which is wonderful, but what I'm concerned about, and what I'm going to be speaking to people about, is the coming months.
I think right now it's in the news and money keeps coming in; I'm hoping that it's distributed properly; I hope that people on the ground is able to deal with the chaos over there.
So I think in the coming months I'll be talking to the people who are really going to be starting to deliver the programmes of building back to the communities. What are we going to do with the houses and the schools? Making sure they stay focused.

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