Tuesday,21 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1218, (23 - 29 October 2014)
Tuesday,21 August, 2018
Issue 1218, (23 - 29 October 2014)

Ahram Weekly

The ’Dame’ is Jolie

She definitely is not ‘just another pretty face’! As movie stars go she is in a class by herself.  Radiant and ravishing, this striking beauty is also awesome and fascinating. Her face explodes with stirring sensuality and her long, slender body exudes voluptuous sex appeal. She captures the essence of the great love goddesses of the screen, adding her own unique dimension, a pure, truely human heart!

The lady is Angelina Jolie and they do not come more beautiful, more talented, more amazing and more shocking.

The highest paid actor in 2009, 2011 and 2013, according to Forbes, Jolie was born in Los Angeles on June 4, 1975. Her parents, actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand called her ‘their pretty little angel’: “Angelina Jolie”.

Within a year of her birth her father abandoned their home, an act for which Angelina never quite forgave him. The family moved to New York, and the mother was left to care for Angelina and her brother James. Ten years later they moved back to Los Angeles and Angelina decided to become an actress, not to follow in her father’s footsteps, but because she watched so many movies with her mother.

The teen years were hard for Angelina. Money was scarce and she was forced to shop in thrift stores, and tolerated abuse from her peers for being too tall, too thin, too gawky, eyes too big, lips even bigger.

Her confidence shattered she dropped out of high school, dyed her hair purple and coated her body with tattoos and pursued a punk lifestyle. She tried to audition for parts but was rejected because ‘she was too dark’. She enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute for two years, but found it hard to communicate with her peers and suffered bouts of deep depression. She would cut herself with her collection of knives, because: “feeling the pain made her feel alive.”

She took up modelling in New York and London, dropped her last name Voight, and was finally committed to acting. Gone were the glasses and the purple hair and she was picked to play ‘GIA’ a super model, Gia Carangi, who died of Aids. The TV film was the big break she needed. Critics loved her; described her as: ”a loose cannon who somehow has deadly aim”. She won her first of  three Golden Globe Awards. Her first Oscar came in 1999 for her interpretation of an insanely ebullient and horribly depressed girl in “Girl Interrupted”.

A string of films followed, two marriages and divorces, but she only achieved international super-stardom after the release of: ”Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider” in 2001. The shoot took her to Cambodia, where she found her true calling. Intuitively and clearly she understood the shameful tragedy of the rest of the world far removed from her own. Her despairing sigh of pity for human beings unable to maintain their self-respect, yielding like slaves to poverty, disease and servitude, filled her with an iron will to help.

She adopted her first child, Cambodian, Maddox and joined the UN as Goodwill Ambassador. She was soon promoted to the rank of Special Envoy to High Commissioner, Antonio Guiterras. She represented him on a week- long tour to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq to assess the situation of Syrian refugees. For the last decade she went on field missions to at least 30 countries, the world’s trouble spots, observing conditions, comforting victims and helping every way she could. Convinced that education is the answer she has built schools in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Pakistan, Kenya among others, spending millions of her own dollars.     

In 2012 Jolie joined UK Foreign Secretary William Hague in a campaign against sexual violence in military- conflict zones: “The Preventive Sexual Violence Initiative”.  She raised over $36 million towards developing international eradication of rape as a weapon of war.

Throughout all this she has not neglected her career, her children and her longtime partner, heartthrob Brad Pitt.  After seven years together, and six children, three adopted, three of their own, the couple decided to tie the knot last August at their estate Chateau Miraval in Correns, France. It was the request of their children.

Passionate humanitarians, the couple has established the JOLIE-PITT Fund that has been credited for building homes for veterans and a host of other charitable deeds.

Angelina Jolie has received more humanitarian awards than acting awards, although those too have been numerous. Her recent film tribute has been the prestigious Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Academy Award given by the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Then came, the Jewel of the Crown!

On June 14 Jolie was appointed an Honorary Dame, Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (DCMG), for her services to the UK’s foreign policy. In a special private ceremony, Ms Jolie and family headed for Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth presented her with the insignia of the honorary dame-hood, in October.

Elegant, erudite and indefatigable she is as enticing in a tattered pair of jeans and a T-shirt in Kabul as she is in silks and satins at the Cannes red carpet. Master and slave are equal before her. She remains a rebel and a maverick and an inspiration to all.

There will be more honours and accolades in her future, and it could not happen to a lovelier lady and a finer ‘dame”!  

"We are all here on earth to help each other; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know."

                         W H Auden ( 1907-1973)

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