In her first interview about “Maleficent”, actress Angelina Jolie spoke with EW about strapping on the horns and leather to play famed Disney villainess in the live-action, revisionist take on “Sleeping Beauty”.
Jolie says of the character: “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?”
She reveals all but one of her children didn’t like the idea of her playing the part because the character is seen as “too scary”. Yet it’s that journey into darkness that drew her into the role, and it was being able to explain to her children about the true origins of the character which ended up being the reason why she signed on:
“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.
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.”
The one child who wasn’t scared by Jolie’s black outfit was Vivienne Jolie-Pitt who ended up being cast as the young Sleeping Beauty “out of necessity”.