Jolie conducted several new interviews this week as her movie First They Killed My Father premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. She did not speak much about Brad Pitt, but in an interview with The New York Times, she said that her kids have stood by her more than anyone else, implying Pitt himself didn’t stand by her like they have.
“They really help me so much. We’re really such a unit,” Jolie said of her children. “They’re the best friends I’ve ever had. Nobody in my life has ever stood by me more.”
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in 2015. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Later in the interview, Jolie reflected on how difficult the separation has been on her.
“None of it’s easy,” she said. “It’s very, very difficult, a very painful situation, and I just want my family healthy.”
She added that her family is now “getting better.”
“I have had my ups and downs. I guess I am a little bit stronger,” she said. “We all have our difficult times, but as a mother you also have a responsibility first and foremost towards the kids. They are going through their formative years and everything else comes second to that.”
Jolie went on to say that her entire life has revolved around her family for the past year, which is why she hasn’t been working. She described them as being on lockdown but said they’re ready to move on.
“I think they’re itching to get out in the world again,” Jolie told PEOPLE. “We’ve all been a bit in lockdown and going through some things. I think it would be good to get out there and play together.”
Angelina Jolie | Michael Buckner/Getty Images
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced their separation in September 2016. Jolie was the one to file for divorce, and Pitt was subsequently investigated for child abuse following an incident with their kids on a plane. Pitt was ultimately cleared by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
Jolie has said that she plans to return to acting with Maleficent 2. She also says she plans to continue working as a director.