Angelina Jolie Believes She Would Have Gone "A Much Darker Way" If It Hadn't Been for Her Children

She shares six children with ex Brad Pitt.

Actress Angelina Jolie and her children Maddox Jolie-Pitt, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt and Pax Jolie-Pitt are seen leaving the Louvre museum on January 30, 2018 in Paris, France.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Angelina Jolie plays many roles in life: actress, humanitarian, filmmaker, author, nepo baby and—most recently—fashion entrepreneur via a project called Atelier Jolie. But for the star, motherhood has been one of the singularly most transformative experiences of her life.

"I was 26 when I became a mother. My entire life changed. Having children saved me—and taught me to be in this world differently," Jolie revealed in a new cover interview with Vogue.

"I think, recently, I would’ve gone under in a much darker way had I not wanted to live for them. They’re better than me, because you want your children to be. Of course I’m the mother, and hopefully that safe place for them and that stability. But I’m also the one that they laugh at—and I see them taking over so many different aspects of our family."

Jolie's willingness to learn from her children is lovely, but that doesn't mean that she doesn't embrace even the parts of her that her kids find more difficult to relate to—such as some of the tattoos she got before she was a mother.

"My kids would roll their eyes if they were here," she said, referring to the tattoos. "I was quite dark when I was young. I was a punk, not the popular kid—going to thrift stores, cutting things up, burning little teeny cigarette holes into things: That was me as a teenager, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Maybe that part of me wants to push back."

The actress shares six children with ex Brad Pitt: Maddox, 22, Pax, 19, Zahara, 18, Shiloh, 17, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 15.

From everything we've seen and heard from Jolie, she is an incredibly supportive mom, and always tries to bolster her children's dreams in any way she can.

Most recently, she hired her daughter Vivienne as her assistant while she was working on a Broadway production of The Outsiders. Speaking of this decision, the mom of six said, "Viv reminds me of my mother in that she isn’t focused on being the center of attention but in being a support to other creatives. She’s very thoughtful and serious about theater and working hard to best understand how to contribute."

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.