Angelina Jolie has played a mysterious mental patient, a glamorous computer wizard, a suspicious super-spy, a brave wife in mourning, a vindictive regal queen, a courageous beat cop, and dozens of other complex characters over her 20-year career. And on May 30, she'll add a misunderstood winged fairy to that list with the release of Disney's Maleficient.
The family film offers a twist on the familiar tale of Sleeping Beauty and its antagonist specifically; not only is Maleficient's backstory thoroughly explored to paint her in a much more sympathetic light, but the fable undergoes a much-needed revision, getting an important dose of feminism that's sadly missing from most classic children's tales.
"I was moved for many reasons when I read the script, but that was the biggest," Jolie told BuzzFeed, while sitting at The Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. "It was a really interesting story that's full of strength and feminism, but is, ultimately, about the strength of these women."
And strong females are a speciality for Jolie, for whom self-assuredness is an essential quality for any character she takes on, even from her nascent roles like Hackers and Gia. The Oscar-winning actress and mother of six recently sat down with BuzzFeed to reflect on five of her earliest performances, revealing what she remembers most about each project, how she felt about the characters then, and how she feels about them now.
Cyborg 2 (1993)
In her film debut, Jolie played Casella “Cash” Reese, a cyborg assassin gifted with the ability to emulate human emotions, which results in chaos when she becomes self-aware and refuses to carry out a mission that would kill her.
"Oh, I threw up," Jolie said, with a laugh, of her first viewing of the sci-fi movie. "I did. I saw it and I threw up. Just nausea. But the kickboxing was fun. It was the first time I was sent to do kickboxing. But I was 17 and I think I thought I was making a real movie, which is odd, since there's a scene when I'm decapitated and talking ... as one does. But, yeah, I saw it and got really sick. I just remember my brother Jamie [Haven] holding me and saying, 'It's going to be all right.'"