Angelina Jolie may be the mother of six children, but the actress didn’t always want step into that role. In fact, the Tomb Raider star recently revealed that she never wanted to have children, but one experience changed everything.
According to Us Magazine, Jolie never thought that she would be the type to have kids until her work on Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Filming for the hit movie took place in Cambodia, which initiated a change in perspective for the star.
“When I first came to Cambodia, it changed me,” Jolie shared. “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.”
Jolie, the daughter of Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand, grew up amongst the stars in L.A. However, Jolie admitted that he never felt fulfilled in Hollywood and experienced “a real emptiness” in her early days.
Things changed during her stay in Cambodia, which sparked an interest to discover more of the world that had remained hidden for so many years. In addition to her search for knowledge, Jolie was also inspired to have kids.
“That trip triggered my realization of how little I knew and the beginning of my search for that knowledge,” Jolie continued. “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.”
Jolie’s interactions with the kids at a local school in Cambodia influenced her decision to adopt her first child.
“It was suddenly very clear to me that my son was in the country, somewhere,” she stated.
Jolie adopted her first son, Maddox, a couple years after her stay in Cambodia. From here, Jolie managed to adopt two more children: Zahara and Pax. Jolie has also had three children of her own with Brad Pitt. This includes their daughter, Shiloh, as well as twins Vivienne and Knox.
Meanwhile, Angelina Jolie is getting ready to come full circle in regards to her history in Cambodia. According to ABC News, the actress is currently working on a new movie in Cambodia, First They Killed My Father.
The film is an adaptation of the novel written by Loung Ung about the genocide in Cambodia in the 1970s. For her part, Jolie helped write the script for the movie and helmed the project, which includes a cast made up entirely of Cambodia actors.
In an interview with People, Jolie described how Ung’s book really inspired her to tell the story of a child’s experience during war. In particular, Ung’s story hit home for Jolie, whose oldest son is native to the country.
“I was deeply affected by Loung’s book,” she explained. “It deepened forever my understanding of how children experience war and are affected by the emotional memory of it. And it helped me draw closer still to the people of Cambodia, my son’s homeland.”
In addition to directing her upcoming movie in Cambodia, Jolie also serves as a U.N. Ambassador to the country. The relationship between the Cambodia government and Jolie is a healthy one. In fact, one of her Cambodian producers of the movie explained just how much Jolie means to the country.
“She is special. She has a special relationship with the Cambodian people. There is a mutual respect,” Rithy Panh stated. “I wonder if she’s not a reincarnated Cambodian. Maybe. Maybe in a previous life she was Cambodian.”
First They Killed My Father is scheduled to be released on Netflix at some point in 2016.
Tell us! Were you surprised by Angelina Jolie’s comments? Let us know in the comments below.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty]