Angelina Jolie recently gave a lengthy interview to Vanity Fair that covered the Brad Pitt divorce and her new movie First They Killed My Father. In it, Angelina talked about the movie, which was adapted from a book about the life of a Cambodian girl who lived through the Khmer Rouge.
Now, Jolie is refuting part of the published story that claims the actress-turned-director used a controversial method in order to find the right child to star in her movie. She claims that the method was not explained properly.
In the Vanity Fair write up, it was reported that Jolie and those helping with the casting of First They Killed My Father didn’t do a typical casting call to fill the lead role.
Instead, they searched orphanages and other places where local Cambodian kids who were not fortunate might be located.
This is how child actors were cast in Angelina Jolie's new Netflix film First They Killed My Father. It sounds so cruel! pic.twitter.com/2dELpuD3jl
— ¯_(ツ)_/¯ (@karishmau) July 27, 2017
Then, to test their acting chops, they would place money on a table in front of the child and let them take it. After taking the money, the directors would “catch” the child with the money and make them explain why they needed it.
“Moch was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time,” Jolie was quoted by Vanity Fair.
“When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back. When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.”
After it became evident that Angelina Jolie’s profile with the magazine was causing a bit of outrage, she started to backtrack. In a statement issued to Huffington Post, Angelina Jolie claimed that the exercise was from a scene in the movie and just an exercise in improvisation.
Jolie claimed that she was upset by the allegations waged against her that were based on her own quotes in the profile. She insists that her explanation was taken out of context.
“The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting,” Jolie wrote. “I would be outraged myself if this had happened.”
— The Playlist (@ThePlaylist) July 28, 2017
Angelina Jolie’s entire statement to refute claims from the Vanity Fair profile reads:
“Every measure was taken to ensure the safety, comfort and well-being of the children on the film starting from the auditions through production to the present. Parents, guardians, partner NGOs whose job it is to care for children, and medical doctors were always on hand everyday, to ensure everyone had all they needed. And above all to make sure that no one was in any way hurt by participating in the recreation of such a painful part of their country’s history.”
“I am upset that a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film, has been written about as if it was a real scenario. The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting. I would be outraged myself if this had happened.”
“The point of this film is to bring attention to the horrors children face in war, and to help fight to protect them.”