Angelina Jolie is featured on the latest Entertainment Weekly magazine cover as the nefarious Maleficent, along with a new photo of the actress alongside a young Sleeping Beauty, played by the actress' daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt. Robert Stromberg directs this live-action, revisionist take on the classic fairy tale, told from the perspective of the iconic Disney villain, giving fans new insight into how her pure heart was turned to stone. Take a look at the magazine cover and image, then read on to see what Angelina Jolie had to say about having fun with this nefarious character and how her children reacted to her taking on this role.
In her first in-depth interview about the upcoming movie, arriving in theaters May 30, Angelina Jolie explained what drew her to the role, and how she was amused that people thought she was perfect to play Maleficent.
"It is really funny when people say you'd be obvious for a great villain. The exercise wasn't how can we have fun with a villain? It was: What turns people evil and vile and aggressive and cruel? What could have possibly happened to her?"
When the actress told her six young children that she was thinking of taking on this iconic role, they all responded with a resounding "No!"
"They went, 'She's so scary!'"
The only one of her children who wasn't scared by the black outfit equipped with those famous horns was Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, now five years old, who ended up being cast as the young Sleeping Beauty out of necessity, even though she doesn't want her kids to become actors.
"We think it's fun for our kids to have cameos and join us on set, but not to be actors. That's not our goal for Brad (Pitt) and I at all. But the other 3- and 4-year-old [performers] wouldn't come near me. It had to be a child that liked me and wasn't afraid of my horns and my eyes and my claws. So it had to be Viv."
"I said, 'Let me tell you the real story but you can't tell anybody.' So this was my test too, like any parent. The next day, I heard Shiloh getting into a fight with another kid, defending Maleficent, saying, 'You don't understand her!' They got into a bit of an argument and I thought, that's the reason to do the film."
She also spoke about how the character's mistakes allow the viewers to fully understand her journey into darkness.
"When that character makes mistakes - which Maleficent does, and crosses many lines - you want them to be angry at her and concerned and confused and in the end, somehow understand something that they didn't know before."
Despite convincing her children that this was the right role for her, her child Pax was noticeably upset when he saw the actress in full costume for the first time.
"When Pax saw me for the first time, he ran away and got upset - and I thought he was kidding, so I was pretending to chase him until I actually found him crying. I had to take off pieces [of the makeup] in front of him to show him it was all fake and not freak out so much."
Pax and Zahara eventually were cast as extras in the famous christening scene, where the title character appears to curse the kingdom's infant princess.
"I had to walk by them being very mean. Of course, I wanted to stop and wink at them."