Over the past ten years, Angelina Jolie has worked behind the camera almost as much as she had in front of it. The 45-year-old Oscar winner seemed like she was settling into a career as a director, but this year, she’ll grace the silver screen in two films – Those Who Wish Me Dead and Eternals. Apparently, Angie’s split from Brad Pitt is partially responsible for her return. “I love directing, but I had a change in my family situation that’s not made it possible for me to direct for a few years,” Angelina told Entertainment Weekly. “I needed to just do shorter jobs and be home more, so I kind of went back to doing a few acting jobs. That’s really the truth of it.”
From 2011 to 2021, per her IMDB page, Angie directed four feature-lengths (In The Land of Blood and Honey, Unbroken, By The Sea, First They Killed My Father) and appeared in seven, with many of those roles (Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3, The One And Only Ivan) being voice acting gigs. Angie hasn’t directed a film since 2017’s First They Killed My Father, released one year after she and Brad, 57, separated and began their long, arduous (and still ongoing) divorce, with an equally bitter custody battle.
Now, Angie’s back on the screen in Those Who Wish Me Dead, a cinematic adaptation of Michael Koryta’s novel. Angie plays Hannah, a smoke jumper — “the name for the specially trained group of firefighters who parachute into a blazing wilderness,” per EW – who stumbles upon a traumatized preteen (Finn Little) being stalked by two killers, played by Nicholas Hoult and Aidan Gillen.
“My character is not maternal by nature,” Jolie told EW. “Sometimes [director Taylor Sheridan] would correct me because my behavior towards a child was different from [Hannah’s] behavior towards a child. It took me a little bit to treat [Little] badly, but I got there!”
The latest chapter in Angie and Brad’s divorce battle came in mid-March 2021. Angie filed court documents in which she claimed to have “proof and authority” that supported her allegations of domestic violence against Brad. She also apparently wanted to have the couple’s children — Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 14, 12-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne – testify, claiming she has “proof and authority in support thereof RE: testimony of minor children.” This move reportedly left Brad feeling “heartbroken” since he “has taken responsibility for his actions and owned up to his past issues,” which includes his decision to stop drinking.