Angelina Jolie made her first visit to mainland China this week, with a trip to Shanghai ahead of the release of Disney fantasy “Maleficent.”

She attended a press conference and handlers made sure to have her pose against the city’s iconic skyline. She was also surprised with a “Maleficent”-themed cake and serenaded with “Happy Birthday” in Chinese.

Jolie also addressed the recent red carpet incident after Brad Pitt was accosted by prankster Vitalii Sediuk.

“People like that are an exception to the rule,” she said to the Associated Press. “Most fans are just wonderful. We’ve had a wonderful experience over the years, and we’re very grateful for their support, and it will not change the way we behave.” ”

Jolie is considered a major star in China, with Chinese audiences having previously had theatrical access to Jolie-starring titles including “Tomb Raider,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” and “Wanted.” Her previous Oscar win and high profile charity activities mean that she is a regular face in the Chinese media. And bringing Brad Pitt along as arm candy did no harm.

Jolie joins a growing list of Hollywood A-listers who regard China, now the world’s number two theatrical market, as an essential stopping off point. Other recent visitors have included Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, and Johnny Depp.

“Maleficent” releases in China in multiple formats on June 20.


Angelina Jolie promotes “Maleficent” in Shanghai, China, on June 3.
A Maleficent-themed birthday cake for Angelina JolieA Maleficent-themed birthday cake for Angelina Jolie