Why Angelina Jolie started directing
Jolie had already boasted one of Hollywood’s most notable and successful acting careers. But in 2010, the Tomb Raider star found a new passion in the entertainment industry with directing. The passion crept up on her while she was writing her screenplay for the movie In the Land of Blood and Honey.
The romantic drama, which took place at the center of a war, saw Jolie tackling sensitive subject matter. Since the star was concerned that another filmmaker might misconstrue the movie, Jolie appointed herself as the director.
“The idea that somebody would take it and interpret it—and possibly interpret it the wrong way—scared me,” Jolie once said in an interview with DGA. “So by default, I chose to direct it myself.”
Jolie would research the art of filmmaking by asking questions to those who were used to working behind the scenes. After feeling confident enough, she decided to direct the feature. But at first, sitting in the director’s chair was a challenge to get through.
Brad Pitt once had to comfort Angelina Jolie after she had an emotional breakdown
Eventually, Jolie found herself battling with the pressures that came with directing. The Mr. and Mrs. Smith actor began to feel the weight of her project, and temporarily collapsed because of it.
“I had a complete emotional breakdown in the shower and Brad found me crying,” Jolie once said in an interview with Marie Claire (via Young Hollywood). “I felt this huge responsibility and I felt very small and, who am I to take this on? I had a complete meltdown.”
Being it was her first film, Jolie even had trouble calling herself a director around that time. Especially since she fell into it by chance.
“I didn’t plan to become a director, and I still have trouble saying I’m a director,” she continued. “I just wanted to tell this story and I ended up by default being the director. It was a pleasure, but I wonder if it would be a pleasure with another cast and crew, and a subject matter that wasn’t so special.”
However, Jolie would then go on to direct several other projects, establishing herself as a filmmaker in her own right.
Angelina Jolie once shared that she stopped directing because of a change in her family situation
Jolie has taken a break from filmmaking in the recent couple of years. Many felt her divorce with Pitt was the obvious source for her directing hiatus. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Jolie alluded to this by sharing how personal issues were keeping her out of the director’s chair.
““I love directing, but I had a change in my family situation that’s not made it possible for me to direct for a few years,” she confided. “I needed to just do shorter jobs and be home more, so I kind of went back to doing a few acting jobs. That’s really the truth of it.”