The Maleficent: Mistress of Evil actress, 44, is sans clothes for the Harper’s Bazaar December/January issue. And it seems no coincidence that she strikes a pose under a veil while talking about regaining her footing after her 2016 split from third husband Pitt. She references her “visible and invisible scars,” being “hurt” — and doesn’t utter Pitt’s name, calling him only her children’s “father,” while making a dig at him for preventing her from doing more travel.
“My body has been through a lot over the past decade, particularly the past four years, and I have both the visible and invisible scars to show for it,” said Jolie, who in addition to her marital status changing had a preventative double mastectomy in 2013 followed by breast reconstruction. (She later had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, as well.) “The invisible ones are harder to wrestle with. Life takes many turns. Sometimes you get hurt, you see those you love in pain, and you can’t be as free and open as your spirit desires. It’s not new or old, but I do feel the blood returning to my body.”
As for whether she feels like herself again, she said, “The part of us that is free, wild, open, curious can get shut down by life. By pain or by harm.” However, she went on to say that her six kids — Maddox, Zahara, Pax, Shiloh, Vivienne and Knox Jolie-Pitt — “know my true self, and they have helped me to find it again and to embrace it. They have been through a lot. I learn from their strength. As parents, we encourage our kids to embrace all that they are, and all that they know in their hearts to be right, and they look back at us and want the same for us.”
She took a dig at Pitt when talking about her love of traveling the world — saying their custody agreement is keeping her from doing more of it.
“I would love to live abroad and will do so as soon as my children are 18,” Jolie replied. “Right now I’m having to base where their father chooses to live,” which is, for the most part, Los Angeles.
Jolie, the daughter of Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand, talked about her younger years in the interview as well — including being unpopular in high school.
“At school I wasn’t that popular person; I was a punk,” Jolie said “I loved leather, PVC, and fishnets. Those were my three favorite fabrics in my early 20s. I remember the first time I wore PVC pants. I was waiting for an audition, sitting in the sun in L.A. By the time it was my turn, my pants had fused together. I didn’t get the part. But I loved those pants. I wore something similar when I married Jonny [Lee Miller]” in 1996.
Another story she shared was about the meaning behind her “a prayer for the wild at heart kept in cages” tattoo. She said she got it with her late mother when she was 20. (Bertrand died of ovarian cancer in 2007.)
“I was with my mom one evening, and I was feeling lost,” recalled Jolie. “I was restless — always. I still am. We were driving to dinner, and she talked about spending time with Tennessee Williams and how much she loved his words. She told me he wrote that, about the wild at heart. We drove to a tattoo parlor, and I got it inked on my left arm. What she did for me that night was to remind me that the wild within me is alright and a part of me.”
She continued, “I see so much beauty in other people. Not when they are pretending to be something other than their true selves. Not when they are harming others. Not when they lie. But the wild ones. The emotional, open, searching ones, longing to be free. The honest ones. Because anything else is a cage impossible to live in.”