Vanity Fair Stands by Angelina Jolie Interview After Star’s Rebuttal

Angelina Jolie
MARTIAL TREZZINI/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Vanity Fair is standing by its September cover story spotlighting Angelina Jolie that described a controversial casting process for her upcoming movie “First They Killed My Father.”

Jolie came under fire when it was revealed that she allegedly cast the young lead in her film after playing a game that involved the directors giving impoverished Cambodian children money, then taking it away as part of an acting exercise. Critics slammed the process in which casting directors would, as described in the magazine, “put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away,” as “deliberate emotional abuse” and “exploitative.”

Jolie refuted the excerpt, saying her statements about the scene had been misconstrued, as it was “a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film.” Jolie also stressed that she was “upset” by the allegations.

“I am upset that a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film, has been written about as if it was a real scenario,” she said. “The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting. I would be outraged myself if this had happened.”

Related

First They Killed My Father Angelina Jolie Netflix

Trailer for Angelina Jolie’s Netflix Drama ‘First They Killed My Father’ Debuts (Watch)

According to Vanity Fair, Jolie’s lawyer contacted the magazine and said that contributing editor Evgenia Peretz, the author of the piece, had “mistakenly” reported the incident. The attorney asked for the below statement to be published and for the original paragraph to be removed from the online article.

“The casting crew showed the children the camera and sound recording material, explaining to them that they were going to be asked to act out a part.  … The children were not tricked as some have suggested. … All of the children auditioning were made aware of the fictional aspect of the exercise and were tended to at all times by relatives or guardians from NGOs. … We apologize for any misunderstanding.”

Vanity Fair said it reviewed the transcript and audio of the interview and “stands by Peretz’s story as published.”

The publication also released the interview transcript.

AJ: But it was very hard to find a little Loung. And so it was what they call a slum school. I don’t think that’s a very nice word for it, but a school for kids in very poor areas.

And I think, I mean they didn’t know. We just went in and—you just go in and do some auditions with the kids. And it’s not really an audition with children. We had this game where it would be—and I wasn’t there and they didn’t know what they were really doing. They kind of said, “Oh, a camera’s coming up and we want to play a game with you.” And the game for that character was “We’re going to put some money on the table. Think of something that you need that money for.” Sometimes it was money, sometimes it was a cookie. [Laughter] “And then take it.” And then we would catch them. “We’re going to catch you, and we’d like you to try to lie that you didn’t have it.”

So it was very interesting seeing the kids and how they would—some were very conscious of the camera. They were actually—there are so many talented kids in this country. But Srey Moch was the only child that stared at that money for a very, very long time before she picked it up, and then bravely, brazenly lying, like was trying to hide, but then she also kind of—

EP: Wait. This is the girl, Loung.

AJ: This is the girl. And then when she was forced to give it back became very kind of like strong, emotional, she became overwhelmed with emotion that she was—and she just—all of these different things flooded out. And I don’t think she or her family would mind me saying when she was later asked what that money was for, she said her grandfather died and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 25

Leave a Reply

25 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. The Truth says:

    Jolie clearly states that she wasn’t at the auditions. If Vanity Fair had quotes from the children — or their parents or anyone else who participated in the auditions — that support VF reporter Evgenia Peretz’s sensational charge of casting cruelty, there might be an authentic story here. But apparently Peretz didn’t objectively verify the salacious conclusion she drew from Jolie’s rambling interview. The transcript essentially sustains Jolie’s narrative, not the reporter’s questionably founded opinion. Shoddy reporting/writing by Peretz, unprofessional editorial work by Vanity Fair, and blatant click bait pandering by Variety.

  2. Juliana says:

    Angelina is like any other rich, celebrity named. She has never had to worry about money since birth. She is an actress, after all, so know how to play the media. What a noxious human. And anyone who still believes she’s a great humanitarian has been deceived. It’s all PR to feed your ego.

  3. Blanche says:

    Even if Jolie is “not intelligent” as Ally has pointed out. The VF reporter who i assume is intelligent and has written various intelligent stories could have asked her to clarify the “game” since she found it “disturbing”. A reporter’s job is basically asking questions until they find the truth. Both the reporter and jolie established it is “game” even the children knew it was a game. If going by Jolie’s statements alone the reporter thought it was “disturbing” she should have asked a few more questions to see if her idea was justified or not. I do not see the questions. The reporter just makes her own conclusions based on what jolie said and selects what she wants to believe and leaves out the rest. most often people sticking to a script improvise and others ramble during lectures, and jolie seems to be doing the same when relating an incident which she is not very familiar with.

  4. Ally says:

    Did anyone read the transcript? How anyone thinks Angelina is intelligent is beyond me – it is just rambling word salad. Bravo to Vanity Fair for not backing down. Angie does not have Brad to protect her anymore & does not have Hollywood backing her anymore – this past year has been blunder after blunder for her – she exposed her true self & you can’t put that genie back in the bottle – it been a long time coming!

    • Blanche says:

      Pitt protecting Jolie? Pitt who admitted to drinking or smoking weed everyday since college? The Pitt who did not stop his shady friends from blaming her, for triggering his drinking( although he started boozing she was just a teenager or even younger). What genie are you under the influence off to believe that Pitt is protecting her? How is a person who self confessed to be more involved in weed and drink ever going to be good “protector”. . Seriously if Pitt was a good protector he would have got joint custody for the duration when they were finalizing their divorce. Why would child services/courts give fully custody to their mother when he was capable of protecting them?

  5. Casey says:

    The following quote from Jolie makes it sound like the girl had no idea this was an audition. Why would she be asked later what the money was for, if she knew it was a game?

    “AJ: This is the girl. And then when she was forced to give it back became very kind of like strong, emotional, she became overwhelmed with emotion that she was—and she just—all of these different things flooded out. And I don’t think she or her family would mind me saying when she was later asked what that money was for, she said her grandfather died and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.”

    • Blanche says:

      really, i think you forgot to read the part above the paragraph where they asked them to lie about reasons for wanting the money, and that it was game. please read ——“Oh, a camera’s coming up and we want to play a game with you.” And the game for that character was “We’re going to put some money on the table. Think of something that you need that money for.” Sometimes it was money, sometimes it was a cookie. [Laughter] “And then take it.” And then we would catch them. “We’re going to catch you, and we’d like you to try to lie that you didn’t have it.”

  6. Jason says:

    Angelina jolie is a manipulative liar and has been caught red handed. shame on you. this is not 2005 when a dirty homewrecker like you was given a pass and used buying babies and fauxhumanitarian to cover up your cheating scandal with dumpee brad pitt

    • Blanche says:

      I fully encourage you to tell us how homewreckers are punished now as compared to 2005. What is the punishment given to homewreckers by the general public, who feel that were denied a chance to dangle them on pitchforks in 2005. Do the public have a right to dangle them on multiple pitchforks now?

  7. Blanche says:

    Vanity Fair is only taking into account the “didn’t know” phrases uttered by Jolie. They are not considering that the details of the game were based on an actual scene in the film (going by the subsequent statement of the producer and that petty cash, fruit and cameras were used), the game was an improvisation exercise for casting with no malicious intent, the children were encouraged to lie to get out of the situation and were fully informed it was a game. The reporter who wrote the article for VF clearly did not do her research before labeling it as a “disturbing game” she also did not question Jolie about the details of the game. Jolie even appeared to have not been present for the auditions/casting (I wasn’t there)but the VF reporter stated that the ” director would pretend to catch the child”.
    Finally the VF reporter wants everyone to believe that because of the “didn’t know” phrases that the children were not aware that it was an audition for a film, so they were somehow traumatized by the pretend game which was played on a cross section of children including privileged/underprivileged ? Why this sloppy attempt by VF to malign jolie’s reputation with regards to handling children? Media houses have been getting a bad name and selective/shoddy reporting like this is just going to bring more pain on their heads.

    • Fabio says:

      Do you think this is a coincidence? You can bet there’s someone behind it, trying to ruin Angelina’s reputation, the magazine might just have apologized, because it clearly shows that the publisher turned Jolie’s words into something evil and cruel, when the reality was that it was just a game to choose a protagonist for the movie.

      Someone is not happy because the movie is from Netflix, and will be released in cinemas to qualify as an Oscar nominee, it’s been a while since Hollywood is trying to stifle Netflix’s breakthroughs, and Jolie is a powerful name, so they’re playing it on Bonfire, to bring down Netflix.

  8. Laysa says:

    Angelina Jolie never takes responsibility for her behavior. Stealing husbands, boyfriends, or swearing revenge on those who dare stand up to her. The divorce is entirely Brad’s fault, as any divorcing spouse knows one side is always totally wrong. Jolie lacks the intelligence or humility to perform self examination. Her actions are often horrifying to loving parents and sentient beings around the world. Thank you VF for standing against her lawyers and sleazy PR tactics. Usually she is more cunning about hiding her true character from society but Brad leaving her really raised the curtain into her psyche.

    • Blanche says:

      So a casting exercise/game that was arrived at by a team and based on a scene in the film is somehow indicative of Jolie’s behavior towards children, Pitt and humanity as a whole………please provide this explanation to the UN, i am sure it carries much weight.

  9. Diaz says:

    VF thinks people are stupid, that we did not realize that they distorted Angelina’s words, that would only detract from the magazine’s reputation, that in trying to prove they’re right, they ended up reveling that Jolie’s statement was actually taken out of context, and Now people are criticizing the magazine for having behaved like a tabloid.

  10. Vega says:

    Vanity Fair did not distort her words and what kind of spin game are people trying to play on her behalf? Read her original interview, her attacks on Vanity Fair, and then the transcript where her lawyers demanded a retraction. She is quoted on tape and in the transcript, as saying they did not know. Meaning they did not know it was not real money and that is where her damage control spin focused on. VF proved that she lied. It doesn’t excuse the trauma of this exercise or that taking away money/food was used as a game to provoke emotion with method acting.

  11. marya says:

    No, Jolie said they KINDA told them we wre gonna catch you and all. She never said what the extac words were. Maybe they never told the kids about the ‘game’ and just did it to them. Either way, nothing was misrepreseneted. AJ has some nerve to accuse the VF and the acclaimed writer of ‘fake news’ and by sending a lawyers notice to them. They never misresprented her claims. She gloated about her cruelty and abusive methods.
    And I doubt alot of the kids could understand the audtion process.

  12. Han says:

    I really don’t understand these Vanity Fair folks…

    This transcript shows beyond any doubt that Angelina Jolie told them, that it was a casting session, where the kids KNEW, that they were acting within a fictional context.

    But they STILL claim, that they didn’t misrepresent her words ? Amazing…

    How stupid are these people ?

    But they are probably just vicious, not stupid.
    They knew that a ‘crazy Angie’ story would get they more attention than the truth.

    Vanity Fair should apologize for misrepresenting Jolie’s words.

    And if they still claim, that they did everything according to journalistic ethics,
    then she should sue.

  13. Hala says:

    The magazine never said it WASN’T an exercise. They just said it was cruel:
    “Jolie came under fire when it was revealed that she allegedly cast the young lead in her film after playing a game that involved the directors giving impoverished Cambodian children money, then taking it away as part of an acting exercise.”

  14. BM says:

    On camera or not, still a shit way to do casting. FOH Jolie.

  15. Dias says:

    The VF exposed the originals of the interview and this only proved that they distorted Angelina’s words.

  16. Jo says:

    She is crazy

  17. Thomas Ligon says:

    I’m no fan of hers. Most recently she ruined a wonderful book with lame direction. Who really cares about all this?

  18. Virginia says:

    I am not in any way a Jolie fan, but the transcript itself makes it clear that this was an exercise. They told the children they were “going to catch (you)” and asked them to lie about it. It was obviously an imaginary scenario. This is in no way giving a child money and taking it back.

    Their own transcript supports her claim that they misrepresented what she said.

  19. Spike says:

    VANITY FAIR IS FAKE NEWS!!!

  20. marya says:

    Who is Jolie trying to fool? She bragged about the cruel and inhumane casting methods! And I really disgusted with how she sent a laywer to VF and the writer, threatening them due to freedom of speech.
    Jolie can go sit in a corner with Trump. Both are the same to me.

More Film News from Variety

Loading