Angelina Jolie had never planned to have children, but somehow she has a brood that matches The Brady Bunch. The Academy Award-winning actress revealed that it was a visit to Cambodia 16 years ago that changed her tune about the baby game. In an interview with the Associated Press, Jolie said the work-related trip changed her life forever.
Angelina Jolie first visited Cambodia when filming the 2001 movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and she was so drawn to the war-ravaged country that she returned for several humanitarian trips with the U.N.
“When I first came to Cambodia, it changed me. It changed my perspective. I realized there was so much about history that I had not been taught in school, and so much about life that I needed to understand, and I was very humbled by it. That trip triggered my realization of how little I knew and the beginning of my search for that knowledge.”
It’s also the country where she adopted her first son, Maddox, from an orphanage in 2002, despite the fact that she had never had any type of motherly instincts whatsoever. After playing with children at a Cambodian school, Jolie realized that her own child was waiting for her somewhere in that country.
“It’s strange, I never wanted to have a baby. I never wanted to be pregnant. I never babysat. I never thought of myself as a mother… It was suddenly very clear to me that my son was in the country, somewhere.”
Angelina said that she finally felt that her life is in line once she adopted Maddox. Jolie and her now-husband, Brad Pitt, went on to adopt two more children, and she gave birth to three biological children. Today, the Jolie-Pitt bunch includes Maddox, 14, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 9, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 7.
And while Angelina and Brad are bona fide movie stars, their focus is definitely on their kids. Pitt told the Wall Street Journal that Angelina’s priority is taking care of their children.
“When Angie has a day off, the first thing she does is get up and take the kids out. This is the most important ‘to do’ of the day. No matter how tired she might be, she plans outings for each and all. She has an incredible knack for inventing crazy experiences for them, something new, something fresh. I may be the bigger goof of the pair, but she invents the stage.”
For someone who never saw herself as a mother, Angelina Jolie sure knows how to be one. And in an interview with Vogue last year, Jolie said she’s even thinking of stepping back from acting so she can focus on her kids during those ultra-important teen and tween years, which are imminent.
“Maybe in the next few years I’ll finish being in front of the camera. I’ll be happier behind it. I’m happy to be home. I want to really focus on my children, doing the best I can to guide and protect them before they are out of the house. These are their most important years.”
For now, Angelina Jolie is currently back in Cambodia shooting the Netflix flick First They Killed My Father, which she co-wrote. The film features an all-Cambodian cast, and Angelina calls it “the most important movie” of her career. And based on her strong connection to the country — and one particular child from it — it’s not hard to see why.
Watch the video below to see how big Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s kids are now.
[Photo By Kevin Winter/Getty Images]