Angelina Jolie has a special bond with Cambodia, and at a recent press conference for her new project, First They Killed My Father, she shared how her children have developed close ties to the country as well. But when it came to getting attention at that event, two of the kids that Jolie shares with Brad Pitt stole the spotlight, reported People.
Angelina’s link to the country started in 2000 while working on the popular film Tomb Raider on location. Two years later, Jolie came back and adopted Maddox, her first child. Since then, the rest of her offspring have become acquainted with the South Asian country.
“We’ve been coming back and forth for 17 years, it feels like a second home to me,” admitted the actress at the press conference prior to the movie’s premiere in Cambodia, where she was joined by her youngsters.
“The children have close ties to the children here, many of them are their best friends. Maddox is happy to be back in his country.”
Jolie directed the film. Shot on location, the movie had a crew that included Maddox, 15, and Pax, 13. The rest of their siblings joined them during the process of creating the movie, including Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and 8-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne, 8.
Angelina credited Maddox for his contributions. He assisted in researching what happened to Cambodia as a result of the Khmer Rouge communist party. The devastation in the 1970s resulted in the deaths of almost 2 million people in a population of 7 million.
“[Maddox] was the one who just called it and said he was ready and that he wanted to work on it, which he did,” shared his proud mom about her son’s role in the movie. “He read the script, helped with notes, and was in the production meetings.”
Jolie adapted Loung Ung’s memoir, which described her life as a child during the Khmer Rouge genocide. The author commented that those working on the film recognized that beyond the ordinary making of a movie, this film was special because it was “in some respect her story—her son’s story.”
Angelina also made that point, sharing that she had hoped the movie would assist her in understanding “what Maddox’s parents may have gone through.” The actress described the film as a “labor of love.”
In addition to Maddox, Pax contributed to the movie by using his artistic skills. Jolie revealed that Pax created “a lot of the stills,” pointing that the entire film “is from a child’s point of view.”
However, when it came to stealing the spotlight at the movie’s premiere, Maddox and his younger sister Shiloh stood out. Maddox spoke about the movie following his mom’s presentation.
“Thank you everyone for attending tonight. We finally made it,” said Maddox. “It’s a great honor to present this film to all of you, and to stand by my mother and my family.”
The teenager then introduced his sibling.
“And now I’d like to introduce my little sister Shiloh, as she has something to say.”
Shiloh headed for the microphone, speaking to the crowd in the Cambodian language of Khmer.
“My name is Shiloh and I love Cambodia,” she said.
Netflix will debut First They Killed My Father later this year.
The Mirror pointed out that because this project is so close to Angelina’s heart, “it made sense that all six of her children joined her for the world premiere.” The event marked her first appearance on the red carpet since she and Pitt split, as well as the first time that she has appeared in public with all of the children minus Brad.
Maddox, Pax, and Knox all sported suits, and the Mirror noted that “tomboy Shiloh” also donned a suit. Zahara chose a loose dress, while Vivienne wore a jumpsuit.
In 2010, talking with Vanity Fair, Angelina revealed that “Shiloh, we feel has Montenegro style.” Pointing out that is “how people dress there,” the actress shared that Shiloh “likes tracksuits, she likes [regular] suits” as well.
“[Shiloh] likes to wear boys’ everything. She thinks she’s one of the brothers.”
Consequently, Jolie noted that Shiloh tends to wear “a suit with a tie and a jacket and slacks, or a tracksuit,” and explained that her daughter “likes to dress like a boy [and] wants to be a boy.” They also cut her hair, revealed the actress.
[Featured Image by Heng Sinith/AP Images]