What Do Angelina and Princess Di Have in Common?
By Rob Shuter Posted Aug 6th 2010 03:00PM
In the vast, headline-grabbing world of celebrity biographers, Andrew Morton is king. Fittingly, he became a household name with his bestselling book about a princess, the late Diana. Since publishing 'Diana: Her True Story' in 1992, he's tackled Monica Lewinsky, Madonna and Tom Cruise -- all of them made the New York Times bestseller list and each was filled with scandalous nuggets about the stars. His latest tell-all, 'Angelina: An Unauthorized Biography,' is no different. I spoke with Morton about the real Angelina Jolie, her relationship with Brad Pitt and her kids, and whether he saw any Diana in the enigmatic actress.
You will forever be associated with your bombshell-filled book on Princess Diana. Any similarities between her and Angie?
Charismatic, troubled childhood, divorced parents, eating disorders, constantly watched. When I first saw Angie at a charity film premiere in New York, the response to her reminded me of how people behaved when You-Know-Who walked into a room. Sophisticated heads bobbed to get a better look and all conversation stuttered to a halt as the crowd strained to see this modern day goddess. Both too have reached out to the world's dispossessed, using their influence to spotlight the forgotten and the voiceless.
In your research, what's the most shocking thing you learned about Angie?
There were several live-rail moments, notably when I discovered that as a baby, Angie was relegated to the Ivory Tower and her mom rarely saw her because, after the separation from Jon Voight, Angie's features reminded her of her husband, who cheated on her and left her looking after two young children. It really was a tragic, heart-wrenching story for all concerned but especially Angie, who was effectively abandoned. It helps explain her cutting, eating disorders, drug taking and suicidal tendencies in later life.
What about her fling with the much-older Mick Jagger?
[That was] fascinating for what it said about the relationship between Angie, her mother and the rock lothario. Her mother played Cupid and wanted her to marry Mick -- even though he was hitched to Jerry Hall at the time -- and live in a French chateau. For her part, Angie messed with Mick's head and told him that she was going to adopt an American Indian child and name him Mick Jagger after her paramour.
What is her relationship with Brad really like?
They strike me as a couple who are seeking -- both are restless with their lot. They spark off one another. She is a free spirit, a creature of the air, Brad anchors her, as do the children. They keep her from floating away. People are always speculating that they are going to break up, but it seems more likely that, after all the turmoil they have gone through -- six children, the death of Angie's mother, constant speculation about relationship and the long shadow of Jennifer -- they have weathered the storm. As Brad says, they are like sharks going through the water, never stopping.
Which parent spends the most time with the kids?
Brad isn't called Mr. Mom for nothing. During the filming of 'Salt,' when Angie was staying in her hotel in Manhattan, exhausted after jumping off trucks and tall buildings, Brad cared for the six kids -- with a little help from a platoon of nannies. Locals on Long Island, where the family camped out, noticed that he took them to the bookstore, movies, hamburger stands just like a regular dad. A regular dad who meets with the President and other politicians about building homes in New Orleans.
But we've been made to believe Angie's a stay-at-home mom?
A troubling feature of Angie's film publicity is that she constantly says that she is giving up movies to spend time with the kids. She has been saying that since Maddox came into her life, but she never does. It's as if she wants to give the impression of being a stay-at-home mom when the reality is she is a working mom with a $20 million per movie price tag on her head.
Away from the spotlight, what is Angie really like?
Busy, compartmentalized -- a mutual friend called her for lunch last January and only got a date in the diary for April. She is, as many of those who know or have known her, have said, a classic Gemini. Unconventional but traditional, a homemaker but homewrecker, nurturing but self destructive. Intelligent, quizzical, supremely worldly but extraordinarily naive. She is a kind of post-modern sex symbol, known for what she cares about and talks about as much for her remarkable features. As her mother's companion, the Native American activist John Trudell says of her: "Her intelligence is the core of her substance." She is very un-Hollywood for a member of Hollywood royalty.
Do you sense Angie cares about Jennifer Aniston at all?
Why should she? It was six years ago, and they have all moved on -- including Jennifer. But she won't be invited 'round for tea chez Aniston any time soon.
Angelina and Brad arrive at the Hollywood premiere of 'Salt' at Grauman's Chinese Theater on July 19. Check out dozens more Brangelina Pics >>
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