In a new interview with British Vogue, Angelina Jolie reflected on the joys and struggles of the past plague year. If anything, the interview proved that the 45-year-old icon and humanitarian doesn’t seem to tire. While raising six children—college student Maddox, 19, Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 14, and 12-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox—she spent the last year writing a book with Amnesty International, serving as the special envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and starring in Marvel’s upcoming film, The Eternals.
Speaking to editor-in-chief Edward Enninful at her winding Los Feliz residence, the star didn’t mince words about her experience raising kids in quarantine and her own journey of healing.
She mused about how she's built her family.
Jolie acknowledged that raising adopted children can be a two-way street: “Aw, well I feel like it’s a big deal if they accept me, you know? I mean, that’s the thing for a lot of mothers, and for a lot of parents regardless. But I think even more so if you have adopted children. They have to choose you, too. It’s not the parents’ family and they’re in it. It’s our family.”
Raising kids in quarantine has been slightly frustrating, yet largely beautiful.
While the star acknowledges the unique privilege she has during this global crisis, it doesn’t change the fact that her children’s rites of passage now look different.
She told Enninful: “There are also these other markers of life: Pax going into his senior year, but not being able to enjoy all that it is to be a senior; Zahara finally getting her driving licence, but she’s taking the test with the driver wrapped in the full outfit with the masks. It’s not how you imagine these moments. But birthdays go on, and I think that for many people, it’s made us all feel very human together. There’s something beautiful about that.”
Her kids help her manage being a mom.
“I feel like I’m lacking in all the skills to be a traditional stay-at-home mom. I’m managing through it because the children are quite resilient, and they’re helping me, but I’m not good at it at all,” she went on, “Well, I love them. I feel like we’re such a team. It may sound clichéd, but you love and you try, and even if you burn the eggs, that doesn’t matter in the end. But also, you’ve met our kids. They’re pretty capable.”
The star finds hope in young people...
“Young people are engaged and ready to fight. But there is a level of misinformation we never faced growing up. We want the book to help give them the tools to strengthen their fight and empower them in a very practical way,” she continued, “Maybe it’s just the young punk in me, but I like the spirit of the youth. I believe they can see right and wrong with more clarity.”
...so she’s committed to staying young.
“I see a lot of older people making excuses for certain behaviours, and it tends to be the younger person who is quicker to say, ‘But this is simply wrong, and we stand against it.’ I’ve wanted to remain that person.”
In spite of it all, Jolie is still searching for her happiness.
When asked if she has found happiness in this stage of life, Jolie confessed, “I don’t know. The past few years have been pretty hard. I’ve been focusing on healing our family. It’s slowly coming back, like the ice melting and the blood returning to my body.”