Angelina Jolie: The Star, the Woman

Wide Angle

Lara Croft in the 'Tomb Raider' series was one of those special roles which catapulted Angelina Jolie to super stardom. And now, the producers have announced a plan to reboot the series. However, Angelina Jolie is not going to be part of this venture. It got me thinking on how much we know about Angelina Jolie - the star and the woman behind the tabloid space she takes up.

Of course there is more to her than the unconventional family she has created with Brad Pitt. Angelina Jolie is one of the most beautiful and talented actors in the world. She has over the years matured as an actor. From her days as Gia to Salt, she has plodded on. She is a celebrity by her own right.

Angelina Jolie has been quoted as saying "I like to hide behind the characters I play. Despite the public perception, I am a very private person who has a hard time with the fame thing." She is one of those people who lets her character take over her personal life

We can't but agree with Rich Cohen who maps out the case in an interview published in the 2008 July issue of Vanity Fair. He says:

By charting Jolie's credits, you map her life-with each role adding something to her persona:

Hackers, in which she met her first husband, Jonny Lee Miller.

Gia, in which she played a lesbian, so, for a time, had a much-publicized relationship with a woman (model Jenny Shimizu).

Pushing Tin, about air-traffic controllers, in which she hooked up with her first great love, Billy Bob Thornton.

Girl, Interrupted, in which she played so became crazy-these were the years of the wild child, of saying, like the character in the movie, whatever came into her head, soul-kissing her brother at the Oscars, climbing all over Billy Bob in public, sucking on his ear, wearing his blood in a vial around her neck, etc, etc.

Beyond Borders, in which, according to the press release, Jolie played Sarah Jordan, an American socialite who abandons her sheltered life to work on behalf of refugees in the world's most dangerous hot spots. By then, Jolie was herself working just about full-time on behalf of refugees, traveling on U.N. missions, writing, giving speeches.

In 2005, Jolie appeared in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, in which she played an assassin, living undercover as a working wife, who is married, unbeknownst to her, to another assassin (Brad Pitt), who is equally ignorant, equally undercover. It was in the course of this shoot that she met up with Pitt, though, she would explain, they did not actually get together until later. There is something revealing, even iconic about this movie, though it's not great. First, you get to see the courtship, on-screen, of two of the biggest stars of the day; the very moment they fall in love, so the very moment Aniston is torpedoed, sent tumbling to the reef. I really do think this relationship, the fact that Jolie seemed to just go over and take him, is part of her aura.

It was a terrific career move, even if she did not mean it to be. It gave her a sheen of invincibility. But there is something else about the movie-especially the scene in which the assassins sit down for a quiet dinner. The text is killers undercover, but the subtext is movie stars pretending to be a normal couple. That's what the scene is really about. The oddity, the strangeness of that life-how movie stars pretend to be human, like us, but know quotidian American supermarket life only from research done while preparing for just such roles.

Angelina Jolie Voight was born on June 4, 1975, to actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. She started modeling at the age of 14. By age 16, she was proving her star power to the world. A confident and daring Angelina  oozes oomph and attitude in this photo shoot as she discusses her many hobbies.

She idolized her mother. It was as if her world revolved around her more than her father. Her father, Jon Voight, has gone on record saying that he is proud of her. Their relationship, which was once dysfunctional, has found a new meaning now.

A humanitarian to the core, she is also a rebel with a kick-ass attitude. But it is a fact that her many spats with her partner is what hits the headlines more often than her outings on screen. Social networking sites have time and again gone overboard with 'news' about their many "break-ups". I will not be one to judge her; I'd rather sign off with  a quote from the same interview by Rich Cohen:

It has been a hectic few years for the 33-year-old Jolie. She lost her mother, adopted children, appeared in films, and dominated tabloids, in which her history and every move have been carefully analyzed: how, though her father (Jon Voight) was a famous alum of the school (Hollywood), she turned up all alone in the hallways, then, just like that, became the talk of the big year-end blowout (Oscars), sidled up to the best-looking boy in the school (Pitt), looked at his popular cheerleader girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston), saw no competition, and stole him away, in the process forcing those who follow such things (everyone) to re-write the hierarchy of the lunchroom.