When Angelina Jolie’s big Vanity Fair interview came out last week, people absolutely ate it up.
Brad Pitt divorce talk? Health problems caused from the stress of the split? More divorce talk?!
It’s understandable why so many people were so intrigued by it all.
But after we were done reading about Brad and trying to discover Brangelina’s real cause of death, we went back and read the full interview.
And we discovered a pretty disturbing story about Angelina’s new movie, First They Killed My Father.
The movie, an upcoming Netlix release, is based on a memoir by Loung Ung, and it’s all about her horrific experiences growing up in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge.
Angelina directed it, and she wanted it to be as authentic as possible — so according to a story in the Vanity Fair interview, she looked to “orphanages, circuses, and slum schools” to cast the children in the movie.
When they rounded up enough kids, they played a “game” in which “they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away.”
“The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie.”
Angelina said that Srey Moch, the girl chosen to play the lead in the film, “was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time.”
“When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back.”
And when they asked the little girl what she’d imagined using the money for, “she said her grandfather had died, and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.”
It all sounds pretty twisted, right?
And also a little bit heartless.
Basically everyone who read that story got at least a little bit outraged at the thought of rich and famous Angelina Jolie dangling money in front of poor children and then snatching it away, just to cast a movie.
But, as Angelina says now in a statement to Huffington Post, that’s not at all how it went down.
“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,” she stated.
“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.”
She also called that casting game that got everyone all riled up “a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film.”
Angelina is “upset” that it was “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,” she said. “I would be outraged myself if this had happened.”
She closed her statement with “The point of this film is to bring attention to the horrors children face in war, and to help fight to protect them.”
Hopefully she’s right, and the children involved were completely and totally aware of what was going on.
But will her explanation be enough to calm her critics?