Sunday, December 28, 2008

Friday, December 7, 2007

Reese Witherspoon, Angelina Jolie Top Actress Pay Scale

Reese Witherspoon, Angelina Jolie Top Actress Pay Scale
Reese Witherspoon and Angelina Jolie are Hollywood's most desirable leading ladies, at least if you measure by paycheck.

According to the annual list of the industry's top-paid actresses compiled in The Hollywood Reporter, Witherspoon and Jolie rule the roost with a reported asking price of between $15-to-20 million per picture.

The trade paper is quick to note that while Witherspoon and Jolie might take reduced rates for a passion project like Witherspoon's fall dud "Rendition" or Jolie's "A Mighty Heart," the actresses command big bucks for projects in their creative wheelhouses. That would include romantic comedies for Witherspoon and features like "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" for Jolie.

Jolie, for example, will likely make full price for upcoming features like "Wanted" and "The Changeling," while the trades have previously both reported and accepted denials that Witherspoon was being paid $29 million for Universal's "Our Family Trouble."

Coming in third was Cameron Diaz, whose asking price is also more than $15 million, a figure skewed by the whopping $30 million the actress reportedly took in for just voicing a character in "Shrek the Third."

Despite a prodigious string of box office underperformers, last year's No. 2 Nicole Kidman slipped only to No. 4 with a price of between $10-and-15 million. Kidman continues to alternate between big budget studio projects likely to meet her asking prices ("Invasion" and the upcoming "The Golden Compass") and indies like "Margot at the Wedding," where she presumably takes far less.

Following Kidman are Renee Zellweger, Sandra Bullock and former highest paid actress Julia Roberts, who also make between $10-and-15 million.

The Top 10 is rounded out by Drew Barrymore, Jodie Foster and Halle Berry.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that a slew of young actresses are right on the cusp of the list and that another year of projects could prove if the likes of Katherine Heigl, Rachel McAdams and Jennifer Garner will be able join the esteemed ranks.

Angelina Jolie Pregnant

Angelina Jolie is expecting a baby this summer with Brad Pitt, PEOPLE has confirmed. "Yes, I'm pregnant," Jolie told a charity aid worker in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday. The pregnancy has since been confirmed by representatives of both stars.

This is the first biological child for Jolie, 30, who is already the mother of son Maddox, 4, whom she adopted from Cambodia, and daughter Zahara, 1, adopted from Ethiopia in July.

Jolie, who has often spoken about expanding her family, added that she’d like to adopt again. In October she told PEOPLE: "There's something about making a choice, waking up and traveling somewhere and finding your family."

More on this story
Welcome, Baby Shiloh!
Why Brad Is Adopting
She is currently in the Dominican Republic filming The Good Shepherd with Matt Damon. She is also working with Yele Haiti, a charity for the empowerment of Haitian citizens.

Pitt, 42, who recently took steps to adopt Maddox and Zahara, including changing their names to Jolie-Pitt, has talked of wanting a family for years. He has no children from his 4-year marriage to Jennifer Aniston.

Pitt and Jolie with Maddox and Zahara in Malibu last year

Photo by: Flynet
In July, Pitt accompanied Jolie to Ethiopia, where she completed the adoption process for Zahara.

More recently, the couple have been spotted all over the globe, including Kenya, England, Ethiopia, Canada, Tokyo and Pakistan, where they spent Thanksgiving.

Jolie has never been happier, say friends. "This is a woman who values her relationships with her children more than anything," a source tells PEOPLE. "Now she is creating a family in the context of an adult relationship."

For more on this story, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

Uninterrupted Jolie

Uninterrupted Jolie


Part Czechoslovakian, English, and Native American, beauty Angelina Jolie is quickly becoming Hollywood's bad girl icon. The twenty nine-year-old Jolie has already been awarded three Golden Globes and an Oscar since appearing in HBO's Gia (1998) and costarring with Winona Ryder in the movie Girl, Interrupted (1999). Frequently named as the sexiest woman, Jolie has been linked to such high-profile names as actor Timothy Hutton, Olivier Martinez, Jared Leto, Colin Farrell and yacht broker Daniele Patini. She was even arguably reported to have a special relationship with her brother James Haven.

The Hollywood passion stands 5' 8" with measurements of 36C-28-36 and has been recently blamed for the split of actor Brad Pitt and former Friends star Jennifer Aniston. She was rumored to be very passionate with Brad during the making of their movie Mr. And Mrs. Smith (2005). Reacting to the gossip, Jolie stated, "I've been painted as the Wicked Witch of the West and a marriage wrecker. But all I've been to Brad is a shoulder to cry on. Half the world believes we had an affair and I'm the one to blame for his split. But the truth is I was there to help him through his pain. I would never sleep with a married man."

Despite the spreading rumors saying that she dated Brad Pitt, Jolie was lately reported to be dating a mystery man. She said, "We focus on who's sleeping with who but miss who you are really with."

Always a non-stop controversy, Jolie recently admitted to a magazine that she is bisexual. She said, "I love women and men equally and I see people as people and love as love, so I think it makes sense that a woman would know I'd appreciate and love her as much as I would a man."

The Oscar-winning actress has done valuable acts for several discordant countries like Pakistan, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone by donating and visiting refugee camps there. Because of her support Jolie was chosen as the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees Emissary (August 2001) and achieved the U.N. Correspondents Association's First Citizen of the World Award (2003). Jolie also donates one third of her salary to charity.

Stars at Home

Childhood and Family:

Originating from a family fully loaded with acting skills and recognition, Angelina Jolie Voight was born on June 4, 1975. She is the daughter of Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight (Midnight Cowboy (1969), Coming Home (1978)) and half Iroquois Indian mother, former model/actress Marcheline Bertrand. She also has an older brother, James Haven Voight (film director, born 1973) and a musician uncle, Chip Taylor (a.k.a. James Wesley Voight).

After their parent's divorce in 1976, their mother raised one-year-old Jolie and older brother James in Palisades, New York. Once contemplating owning a funeral business, Jolie instead followed her acting heritage and attended the Lee Stratsberg Theater Institute when she was 11 years old. Later she attended night classes at New York University, majored in Film, but later dropped out in order to pursue her acting career.

On March 28, 1996, Jolie married Hackers' costar Jonny Lee Miller, but the couple later divorced on February 3, 1999.

Jolie eloped to Las Vegas with Pushing Tin (1999) fellow actor Billy Bob Thornton on May 5, 2000 and adopted Cambodian son Maddox Jolie in 2002. In the same year, the couple filed for divorce on July 18.

Bad Girl For Oscar


"Therapy? I don't need that. The roles that I choose are my therapy." Angelina Jolie.

A model at age 16, Angelina Jolie was seen in several music videos, most memorably the Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz, Meat Loaf, and the Lemonheads. After dropping her studies at the New York University, Jolie joined the L.A.'s Met Theatre Group alongside Ed Harris and Holly Hunter.

After several undistinguished roles, including one in Cyborg II: Glass Shadow, Jolie landed a role in the virtual-thriller Hackers (1995, Matthew Lillard and Jonny Lee Miller). Despite criticism about the film, her performance received rave reviews. This would just be the beginning. Several years later, Joile would earn the status as Hollywood's latest 'bad girl' and would become an A-list actress for her brilliant performances. She would achieve wider recognition after being nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for her role as Cornelia Wallace, costarred Gary Sinise, in TNT's George Wallace (1997) and exploded playing model Gia Marie Carangi on the HBO's super hit Gia (1998).

Though Jolie was victorious on the small screen, she gained fewer achievements during her first big screen appearances, which included Foxfire (1996) and Playing God (1997, Timothy Hutton). However, she gradually became noticed again after being seen with Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands in the drama comedy Playing By Heart (1998). Her career continued to rise with Pushing Tin (1999, costarring John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton and Cate Blanchett), and the thriller The Bone Collector (1999) where she costarred with Denzel Washington. Girl, Interrupted (1999, costarring Winona Ryder) rocketed her name to superstardom. Jolie portrayed the role of Lisa Rowe and earned an Oscar.

With her rise in status, Joile stayed busy with films. She portrayed characters in Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000, costarring Nicholas Cage) and the title role as the adventurous Lara Croft in Tomb Raider (2001) and Lara Croft: The Cradle of Life (2003). She also starred in Original Sin (2001) alongside Antonio Banderas and played Sarah Jordan in Beyond Borders (2003).

During 2004 and 2005, Jolie's admirers can view her in Sky Captain, The World of Tomorrow (2004) and Alexander (2004), in which she plays Olympias, mother of Alexander the Great. Fans should not miss her upcoming film with Brad Pitt, Mr. And Mrs. Smith (2005).

"Because I am a bad girl, people always automatically think that I am a bad girl, or that I carry a dark secret with me or that I'm obsessed with death. The truth is that I am probably the least morbid person one can meet. If I think more about death than some other people, it is probably because I love life more than they do." Angelina Jolie.


ShoWest: Supporting Actress of the Year, 2000
Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress, Girl, Interrupted, 1999
Golden Globe: Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, Girl, Interrupted, 1999
Screen Actors Guild: Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Theatrical Motion Picture), Girl, Interrupted, 1999
National Board of Review: Breakthrough Performance Award, Playing by Heart; cited with Billy Crudup (Without Limits), 1998
Golden Satellite: Best Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TV, Gia, 1998
Golden Globe: Best Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TV, Gia, 1998
Screen Actors Guild: Female Actor (Television Movie or Miniseries), Gia, 1998
Golden Globe: Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Made-for-TV Movie, George Wallace, 1997


While most Hollywood stars do everything they can to appear cool, professional and squeaky-clean, diligently concealing all their nasty little secrets, Angelina Jolie appears wholly unconcerned by controversy. Ever-keen to talk about her breakdowns, her disorders, her fantasies and her world-famous penchant for S&M, many would say she's built a career on titillating public confession. But she's also an increasingly fine and award-winning performer, her Oscar for Girl, Interrupted being only the first in a string of prestigious honours. Onscreen, as in bed, she is a risk-taker, and perhaps deserves to be seen as the spiritual sister of such greats as Streep, Pfeiffer and Lange. Beyond this, her international efforts on behalf of children and refugees have made her the most public-minded superstar since Audrey Hepburn.

She was born Angelina Jolie Voight in Los Angeles, on June 4th, 1975 - her name meaning Pretty Little Angel. Her father, Jon, was already an established superstar, having topped the bill in such classics as Midnight Cowboy and Deliverance. When Angelina was 2, he'd scoop the Best Actor Oscar for Coming Home. By then though, he'd already split from her mother, the part-Iroquois actress and model Marcheline Bertrand (now Angelina'smanager), who'd moved with Angelina and her brother James to the East Coast - to the Palisades, New York, to be more precise.

Living here, Jolie was a happy child. She collected snakes and lizards - her favourite lizard being named Vladimir, and her favourite snake Harry Dean Stanton - and, oddly, like many females of her age, she had a major crush on Mr Spock. She would wear glittery clothing, including sparkly underwear, and flounce around, already performing, keen to make people laugh, to make them like her. She was a member of the Kissy Girls, who hunted boys down and kiss them till they screamed - until the school was forced to call the parents and the gang broke up. Marcheline would take the kids to the movies often, and Jolie claims this is where she got the notion to be an actress - not from her uncle, Chip Taylor (an actor and composer), not from her godmother Jacqueline Bisset, and definitely NOT from her father, though at age 7 she did appear in Lookin' To Get Out, a movie about inveterate gamblers, co-written by and starring Jon Voight.

When Jolie was 11, her mother moved the family back to Los Angeles. They had already moved often, making the young girl feel constantly uprooted "I always dreamed", she says "of having an attic of things that I could go back up and look at". Now Angelina decided she wanted to act and, as ever jumping in at the deep end, enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, where she trained for two years, appearing in several stage productions. As a pupil at Beverly Hills High School, she was not alone in her cinematic ambitions. But she certainly FELT alone in the midst of all those good-looking, pampered children, children who teased her mercilessly for wearing braces and glasses and being so painfully skinny. Unlike the other parents, Marcheline was not rich - so Angelina also had to seek her clothes at thrift stores like Aardvark. Her confidence received a further battering when her attempts at modelling proved fruitless. She never got picked - too short, too thin, too fat, too scarred.

Scarred - yes. Perhaps it was the many moves, maybe it was to do with her father, a lonely, detached figure who did not want to live with his family (Angelina always feared she would be like that herself). Maybe it was the relative poverty, or the taunting, or the way she felt that -with her big eyes, big lips, big everything - she looked like a muppet. But Angelina had come to hate herself, to feel absolutely worthless. She felt unworthy, didn't like to be touched (she still has this problem sometimes). So, like too many young girls, she started to cut herself. At 14, she dropped out of acting classes and began an existence of fast-living and active self-loathing. She wore black, dyed her hair purple and went out slam-dancing with her live-in punk boyfriend. They experimented heavily in S&M, Angelina once asking him to draw a blade along her jawline (the scar is now faint, but still there).

At 16, her relationship ended. She moved to an apartment opposite her mother and went back to theatre. Now committed to acting, her first role was, unsurprisingly, as a German dominatrix. She began to learn from her father, noticed how he would watch people, talk to them, become like them. She stopped fighting with him so much too, realising that they were both "drama queens". For his part, Voight noticed her talent, being moved to tears by her reading of the part of Catherine in A View From The Bridge.

With the braces and glasses gone, she became a model too, working in Los Angeles, New York and London. She also appeared in the video for Meat Loaf's Rock'n'Roll Dreams Come Through - she'd later turn up in promos for Lenny Kravitz, Lemonheads and The Rolling Stones. Her confidence rose, though it would often plummet back down. She tells a story of how once she was so down she actually tried to hire a man to kill her. Being a compassionate sort of assassin, he told her to think about it for a month. Obviously, she didn't call him back.

Jolie had appeared in five of her brother's student films, made while he attended the USC School of Cinema (he was now known as James Haven), but her movie career proper began in 1993, when she starred as Casella "Cash" Reese, alongside Elias Koteas and Jack Palance in Cyborg 2. Here, a near-human robot-thing, she was designed to seduce her way into the HQ of her creators' rivals and blow up. Already, her sexual charisma had been noted. Next came Hackers, where she met her first husband, Jonny Lee Miller, then riding high after his performance as Sick Boy in Trainspotting. Miller played a computer whizz-kid on the wrong side of the law, trying to save the world from a swine intent upon unleashing a vicious virus, while being pursued by the Secret Service. Jolie was Acid Burn, one of his team.

The pair fell for each other big-time and were married, Jolie possibly looking for some kind of stability in her life. Now began her explicit openness in the press, as she told lurid tales of their sexual exploits. "You're young, you're drunk, you're in bed, you have knives; shit happens", she said jokingly. It was also announced that, when getting married, Jolie had worn black leather pants and a white shirt with Miller's name scrawled across the back in her own blood (well, who else's blood would she use?). In interviews, Jolie explained that her interest in blood and death was of long standing. She not only collected knives, she said, but had a fascination with mortuary science and, as a child, had dreamed of becoming a funeral director. Less Maude than Harold, then.

Now the roles started coming fast and thick. Jolie starred with David Duchovny in the nasty, stylish thriller Playing God (she'd later date her other co-star, Timothy Hutton). Then, in the road-movie Mojave Moon, she was a youngster, named Eleanor Rigby, who falls for Danny Aiello, while he takes a shine to her mother, Anne Archer. In Foxfire, she was one of a group of teenage girls who kill a teacher who harasses them, then gradually go wholly out-of-control. Directed by Annette Haywood-Carter, this was very much a girl-thing, as was Jolie's next release, the TV movie True Women, a Herstorical romantic drama set in the West, based on the book by Janice Woods Windle.

As a child, Jolie had always been encouraged to express her feelings, and now it really began to work for her. In biopic George Wallace, she played the wife of the segregationist Governor of Alabama who was shot and paralysed while running for President. This starred Gary Sinise and was directed by John Frankenheimer, but she more than held her own, picking up a Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination. Next came Gia, another biopic, this time of Gia Carangi, a lesbian supermodel from the Seventies. This was crammed with sex, drugs and fearsome emotional drama, as Carangi crashed, burned and was eventually taken by AIDS. For the second consecutive year, Jolie won a Golden Globe, and was nominated for an Emmy. At the Golden Globes, by way of celebration, she jumped into a swimming-pool, clad in a hand-beaded Randolph Duke gown.

The emotional extravagance of these parts, added to her own confusion and pain, made living with Jolie an impossibility. She was breaking down and Miller could take no more. The couple split, Jolie living alone in Manhattan, getting her head together, and attending film classes at NYU. Now notorious for her candid quotes, her name stayed in the papers. The sexuality of Gia had got tongues wagging, and Jolie had made them wag some more by admitting to bi-sexuality, and a relationship with actress Jenny Shimizu.

Now came the comedy-drama Pushing Tin, about two air traffic controllers who engage in macho conflict. John Cusack was one, the other was Billy Bob Thornton, acclaimed director, writer and star of Sling Blade. Jolie played Thornton's wife, an extremely sexy sort who sends the guys crazy and sleeps with Cusack. The film was excellent. More importantly for Jolie, she fell for Thornton, 15 years her senior, who proceeded to dump his longtime girlfriend Laura Dern. The pair became infamous for their salacious quotes, Thornton admitting that he liked to wear Jolie's underwear, even to work, as it made him feel close to her. Actually, their quotes were often rude, but clearly loving.

Jolie was about to become a huge star. Winona Ryder has claimed that her character in Girl, Interrupted could have been her as a young girl. But Jolie's character, Lisa Rowe - insanely ebullient then horribly depressed, hating but needing some form of structure to her life, even an institution - really WAS Jolie. Stealing the show entirely, she won the Oscar, and herein lies a sweet tale. At the time filming Original Sin down in Mexico, Jolie flew to the Oscar ceremony (she'd attended before, age 12 and all glammed up in lace and pearls, with her dad), won, then flew straight back, arriving at 4.30 am and going straight to sleep. Suddenly, she was awoken by a mariachi band, hired by co-star Antonio Banderas and director Michael Cristofer. Stumbling from her trailer, she was handed a single rose by every member of the crew, many of whom, along with Cristofer, had worked on Gia and, remembering her at her lowest ebb, wished to recognise this moment of triumph. In the press, meanwhile, her victory was quickly overshadowed by freakish reports that she was having an affair with her own brother. They must have assumed she'd try anything once. This is a big part of the Jolie phenomenon - she has a searing reputation for being sexually voracious and promiscuous, yet says she's slept with only a tiny handful of people.

After Girl, Interrupted came the psycho-thriller The Bone Collector, where she aided a bedridden Denzel Washington in his pursuit of a killer, then Gone In 60 Seconds, where Jolie played Sarah "Sway" Wayland, ex-girlfriend of super-car-thief Nicolas Cage. She didn't have much to do but be charismatic, which she managed with ease - though she did look thin and drawn, something noted by Cristofer when Jolie moved directly from Gone In 60 Seconds on to the set of Original Sin. Based on Cornell Woolrich's Waltz Into Darkness, this would be a steamy bodice-ripper where she played a mail order bride for Banderas' coffee planter in 1900s Cuba, a bride who turns out to be dominating, manipulative and thoroughly untrustworthy. It was a wonder he didn't mail her straight back.

Next would come the big one - Tomb Raider. To play videogame heroine Lara Croft, Jolie had to master a Brit accent and upper-class manners, plus kick-boxing, street-fighting, yoga, ballet, car racing and dog-sledding. Few actresses have the outlandish features and sheer physical power to pull off such a character, but Jolie managed it with some aplomb as Croft criss-crossed the globe, trying to prevent the Illuminati from using a magic triangle to control Time Itself. She would revisit the part in 2003 with the superior Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life. Here a Chinese crime boss and evil mastermind would attempt to unleash a deadly plague that, for some reason, chose to remain in Pandora's Box when all the other bad stuff sprang forth. Naturally, only Lady Lara Croft (in the original her aristocratic dad was played by Jon Voight) can save the day. Once again, Jolie impressed with her straight face, dry wit and comically unbreakable British resolve - she certainly gained more prestige than she would have done had she instead taken the role in Charlie's Angels eventually filled by Lucy Liu.

Before the sequel, though, would come Life Or Something Like It where she played a Seattle TV reporter seemingly ambitious beyond her abilities. Stuck in a love triangle with a baseball pitcher and a cameraman, she's informed of her own imminent death by a street preacher and must get her life in order before popping her clogs. It doesn't sound good and it wasn't, Jolie hardly being tested by such weak material.

Personally speaking, this was a hard time for Angelina. Having in 2001 adopted a Cambodian boy named Maddox, and having made clear her sympathy for nations much poorer than her own, she was made a Good Will Ambassador for the United Nations. It was a role she took seriously, visiting Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Pakistan and the Western Sahara. She examined first-hand the plight of refugees from Thailand and Chechnia, called for peace in Sri Lanka and pledged $5 million to a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia (having been paid $12 million for Tomb Raider 2, this was something she could well afford).

Unfortunately, her relationship with Thornton did not survive this burst of activity. He, she later claimed, was more interested in his career (he was at the time concentrating on his music) and left her and Maddox to go out on tour. The couple would officially split up in May 2002 and divorce a year later, after almost exactly three years of marriage. And the split would bring about another when father Jon Voight used TV interviews to reach out to a daughter he said had "serious mental problems". Angelina did not appreciate his words or tactics.

Having worked extensively in the UK on the Tomb Raider movies, Jolie would buy herself a house in Buckinghamshire and often be seen out with former husband Jonny Lee Miller. Despite giving much of her time to the UN, she was still fairly prolific on-screen. After Tomb Raider 2 would come Beyond Borders, long delayed after the sacking of Kevin Costner (for being too demanding) and the subsequent departure of Oliver Stone. Interestingly, the movie would see her as the daughter of a rich industrialist, meeting a renegade doctor (Clive Owen replacing Costner) and, inspired by his impassioned desire to save lives, helping him do just that in war-torn Africa and beyond. There were clear parallels with her own life.

2004 would bring a welter of work and another tumult of rumours. Onscreen, she'd open the year with Taking Lives, playing an intuitive American detective called up to help Montreal cops track down a serial killer. Through a strange and near-psychic process (as well as dogged police work), she reveals that the murderer, a major self-loather, has been offing people of gradually increasing age, stealing their identities and thereby living a series of different lives. Artist Ethan Hawke is able to sketch the killer, but will that do any good? The movie was quite complex, full of clues, shocks and sly cheats, but it was rather overshadowed by the break-up of Hawke's marriage to Uma Thurman. Naturally, rumours abounded that Jolie was the scarlet woman - in fact, it was model Jen Perzow.

Next came Shark Tale, an animation where Will Smith's funky fish took credit for the accidental death of the son of shark mobster Robert De Niro. Now famous, Smith would attract the amorous, glamorous Angelina (a fish called Lola, of course) who'd tempt him to betray his long-time gal Rene Zellweger. Critics would complain that the film's welter of references to the likes of Jaws and The Godfather would put it beyond the ken of most kids. Nevertheless, without challenging the monolithic success of Shrek, it was still a big hit.

After Shark Tale would come a real oddity, Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow. Inspired by 1950s sci-fi comics, this would see a crazed German scientist kidnap the world's greatest minds and then send giant robots rampaging through the streets of New York City. Teaming up to foil this megalomaniac would be Jude Law's freelance buccaneer, Gwyneth Paltrow's scoop-hungry hack and Angelina, a sexy, piratical pilot who may well have caused the break-up of an earlier relationship between Law and Paltrow. Really, you couldn't blame him.

Sky Captain, an FX marvel that had seen the actors working mostly against green screens, was a cinematic wonder, but not a hit. Much the same could be said of Jolie's next venture, Oliver Stone's epic Alexander. This saw her as Olympias, mother of Colin Farrell's great conqueror. Married to a drunken Val Kilmer, she's beaten and banished, but returns when her young son acquires the crown of Macedon, henceforth acting as his inspiration as he subjugates the nations. It was an odd movie, glorious in its scope, thrilling in its battle sequences, but undermined by the complexity of its message and its shy handling of Alexander's bisexuality. Indeed, it was undermined to the extent that, having cost $150 million to make, its US box office takings stalled at $34 million. Ouch.

Generally slating the movie, the critics paid special attention to the eastern European accent Angelina adopted. Fans would say this was a tad unfair - after all, Macedonia borders on Bulgaria which, like Russia, touches the Black Sea. She wasn't THAT far off. But her career did not suffer. Branching out artistically, she'd move on to The Fever, directed by Vanessa Redgrave's son Carlo Gabriel Nero. This was an HBO take on Wallace Shawn's play about a middle-class woman's political awakening. Ambitiously switching from action to filmed theatre to into-camera monologues, it would see Redgrave educated in the world's political hot-spots by journalist Michael Moore and Jolie's angry, pistol-packing revolutionary. Jolie would then take on another major release, 2005's Mr And Mrs Smith, where she and Brad Pitt starred as a bored couple whose marriage is both stimulated and endangered when they discover they're both secret assassins, now unfortunately hired to kill one another. Even before its release the film would cause something of a stir. Firstly, extra shoots meant that Jolie could not carry the Olympic torch through Athens - her work for the United Nations High Commission For Refugees was to have seen her represent the world's refugees. And there were the inevitable rumours of sexual misbehaviour. With Pitt and Jennifer Aniston the world's most famous couple and Jolie Hollywood's most notorious femme fatale, the tabloids, understandably, went bananas. For once they had good reason.

Mr And Mrs Smith was, understandably, a massive hit, taking $186 million at the US box office. Much of the press surrounding it, though, concerned the stars themselves, the couple eventually being forced to ban questions about their relationship. For a full year they remained tight-lipped. Pictures of them together sporadically appeared, one set making upwards of $500,000. Pitt officially split from Aniston, divorcing in 2005. Only in 2006 would they come clean, with Pitt adopting Maddox and Zaharah Marley, an Ethiopian girl Jolie had herself adopted the year before. By the end of May they would have a child of their own, Shiloh Nouvel being born in Namibia. With Pitt now helping Jolie in her ambassadorial duties, it came as no surprise when they agreed to sell exclusive photos of the new arrival and donate all proceeds to charity.

Charitable work and motherhood would now take up much of Jolie's time. Having in 2004 been made an Honorary Citizen of Cambodia due to her efforts in the region, she'd visit post-earthquake Pakistan and involve herself in the huge Live 8 concert. She'd also address the World Economic Forum, highlighting the plights of Darfur, Afghanistan and Nepal. But there would be the occasional cinema release. 2006 would see the long-anticipated premiere of The Good Shepherd, directed by Robert De Niro. This would tell the story of the early years of the CIA by following the career of operative Edward Wilson, played by Matt Damon, as he's recruited before WW2 then becomes a player in the Cold War. Jolie would deliver a highly dramatic turn as Wilson's wife Clover, first jumping him at a picnic and getting pregnant, then becoming estranged as war separates them, loneliness eventually driving her to cynicism and alcoholism. With an all-star cast featuring John Turturro, Michael Gambon and William Hurt, the movie would be both entertainment and history lesson. So would Jolie's next effort, Beowulf, where Robert Zemeckis told the old Norse legend using the same performance-capture animation technique he'd employed so successfully with The Polar Express. Playing one of history's most notorious female monsters, Jolie would be joined by John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins, Crispin Glover and Ray Winstone.

Still struggling with herself, and still publicly discussing her pleasures and pains (as well as her ever-increasing charity work - covered in part in her 2003 book Notes From My Travels), Jolie is one of Hollywood's more complicated characters. She may have found happiness with Brad Pitt but, as of 2006, she hadn't spoken to her father in four years. She's both a sex object and an international diplomat, an action star and an Oscar-winning thespian, a constant contradiction. Alongside the Japanese sign for death, Billy Bob, H, two Native American symbols, a dragon and a black cross, she has marked on her body a Tennessee Williams line "A prayer for the wild at heart, kept in cages", and "Quod me nutrit me destruit" - What nourishes me also destroys me. Let's hope she continues to benefit from the nourishment. And the cage.

Dominic Wills

Brad Pitt: I'll Marry When Everyone Can

Brad Pitt: I'll Marry When Everyone Can
Brad Pitt, ever the social activist, says he won't be marrying Angelina Jolie until the restrictions on who can marry whom are dropped. "Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able," the 42-year-old actor reveals in Esquire magazine's October issue, on newsstands Sept. 19.

In the article he reflects on "fifteen things I think everyone should know."

Though Shiloh, the world-famous daughter of Pitt and girlfriend/earth mother Angelina Jolie, hogged much attention upon her birth in May, Pitt says he "cannot imagine life" without adopted children, Maddox, 5, and Zahara, 1.

"They're as much of my blood as any natural born, and I'm theirs," says Pitt. "That's all I can say about it. I can't live without them. So: Anyone considering (adoption), that's my vote."

Pitt, who plays a world traveler in the upcoming drama "Babel," subscribes to a laid-back parenting style.

"I try not to stifle them in any way," he says. "If it's not hurting anyone, I want them to be able to explore. Sometimes that means they're quite rambunctious."

Lucky kids.

"I feel it's really important to have that time to sit and talk to them," he continues. "I really like that last minute before they fade off. And always give them a heads-up before you jerk them out of something. You need to tell them, like, 'You have three more minutes.'" (AP)

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

It appears that marriage for Brad and Angelina is a long way off.
Here's information on the celebrity relationship of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

What can you learn about marriage from the relationship of Brad and Angelina?
They are setting an example of working together not only for the sake of their children and one another, but for those living in difficult situations and locales. However, they are not putting a priority on their time alone together and that is a red flag.
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