Angelina Jolie has admitted that she’s “nervous” about her forthcoming directorial debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey, which opens December 23.
Jolie’s nerves are perhaps understandable. Rather than take on a light-hearted teen comedy, the actress is tackling a controversial subject: the Serb-Bosnian conflict of the 1990s. The film, which is penned and directed by Jolie, is set in the Bosnian war, and features a Bosnian rape victim falling in love with her Serbian attacker, a prison commander.
Jolie’s primary concern is that audiences will misunderstand her work:
“I think people that really know me weren’t surprised, but I think they all thought it was a bit crazy … I still think it’s crazy. I think I’d be terrible with a comedy. I’m nervous that people are going to not understand it.”
She’s already have a rough reception to the film from one quarter: the Bosnian government briefly withheld Jolie’s right to film in the country after hearing of the movie. But ultimately. Jolie is proud of the film’s supposed authenticity, stating her wholly Yugoslav cast chipped in with advice:
“We all spoke about every speech, every scene and made sure that it was right and true. Everybody helped to educate me and we all adjusted the script together.”
Yet despite her worries, directing has proven rewarding to the 36-year-old actress:
“I prefer directing. I loved having the spotlight on somebody else. It’s nice for [her looks] not to matter. I think what’s risky is living your life and never trying for anything and never doing something brave.”