In her upcoming movie, The One and Only Ivan, Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie is bringing author Katharine Applegate’s lovable characters to life. She’s a talented filmmaker and performer who’s been entertaining audiences for decades. But in a recent chat about the movie, Jolie admitted that she’s actually “really boring” when it comes to being artsy and that she spends a lot of her free time “studying foreign policy.”
‘The One and Only Ivan’ is based on a children’s book
Based on Applegate’s novel of the same name, The One and Only Ivan tells the story of a silverback gorilla named Ivan (voiced by Sam Rockwell) who lives in captivity at the Big Top Mall. He performs for Mack’s (Bryan Cranston) circus show with his friends — Stella, the elephant (Angelina Jolie), Henrietta, the chicken (Chaka Khan), Snickers the poodle (Helen Mirren), Murphy the rabbit (Ron Funches), Bob the stray dog (Danny DeVito), and Frankie the seal (Mike White).
For the most part, Ivan feels like he lives a pretty comfortable life. But when a baby elephant named Ruby (Brooklyn Prince) joins the circus, Ivan begins to question the status quo.
Angelina Jolie produced ‘The One and Only Ivan’ and also stars in the film
Not only does Jolie take on the voice role of Stella, but she also serves as the producer of The One and Only Ivan. When talking to ET, she revealed that her daughter, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, initially introduced her to the story.
“Well, Shiloh years ago told me that she had read a book that she loved and she wanted me to read it,” Jolie said. “I read it on my own and then we looked at some of it together and we talked about why she loved it. Then, I inquired if it was being made — as you do — into a film, and I found out that it was kinda in the works but kinda hadn’t [been] figured out.”
Jolie said that she stayed on top of the production over the years. And she noted that she tried to ensure the film stays true to the book.
“It’s a very special story,” she added. “It’s an important true story and I think that resonates with all of us — The story says, you know, it’s never too late to discover who you are and to push forward with that person and to better [yourself] and to be a better person and to make that choice.”
Why Angelina Jolie says she’s ‘really boring’
In The One and Only Ivan, Bob the dog suggests that everyone is a “little artsy.” When asked about her creativity and artsy streak, Jolie told Collider that she doesn’t have much to offer.
“I feel like I’m really boring,” admitted Jolie. “I spend a lot of time studying foreign policy.”
But the actor/producer also explained that she finds her inspiration in her children. “My creativity is my kids, being with them and making up stories before bed or just being silly with them,” Jolie added.
“It’s really nothing I’m doing, just watching each of them become uniquely who they are, and being around it, and going into each of their rooms and talking to them. It’s about the conversations you have or the parts of their minds that you develop.”
Jolie’s new film, The One and Only Ivan premieres Aug. 21 on Disney+.