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Angelina Jolie Says She Stopped Doing This Since Divorcing Brad Pitt

The A-list actor's life changed in a major way following her split.

Angelina Jolie is back in action—literally. The actor is starring in the upcoming film Those Who Wish Me Dead as a wildfire-fighter who has to save a teenage boy being followed by assassins. It's a return to the kind of action movie Jolie was known for at an earlier point in her career—like the Lara Croft series and 2008's Wanted. And it also signifies a big shift for the star. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jolie explained that filing for divorce from Brad Pitt forced her to stop doing one thing in particular. Read on to find out what it is, and for more from another one of Pitt's famous exes, Jennifer Aniston Says This Is Her Biggest Regret About Brad Pitt.

Jolie stopped directing and started acting more, which allows her to work and be home more often.

Angelina Jolie and five of her kids at the "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" premiere in 2019
DFree /

In the new interview with Entertainment Weekly about Those Who Wish Me Dead, Jolie said that acting gives her more time at home than directing would, which is something she needs right now.

"I love directing, but I had a change in my family situation that's not made it possible for me to direct for a few years," Jolie said. The article then points to her 2016 split from Pitt, which has led to lengthy divorce proceedings. In 2019, a judge ruled that Jolie and Pitt were legally single, thought their settlement has not yet been finalized.

"I needed to just do shorter jobs and be home more," Jolie told EW. "So I kind of went back to doing a few acting jobs. That's really the truth of it."

And for more on what Jolie's said about her divorce, check out Angelina Jolie Just Made a Rare Comment About Her Split From Brad Pitt.

She's put her family first throughout the divorce. 

Angelina Jolie on the March 2021 cover of British "Vogue"
British Vogue

Jolie has publicly mentioned her changing family dynamics in a couple of recent interviews. And while she doesn't go into specifics about her relationship with Pitt, it is always clear that she's focused on the well-being of her children: 20-year-old Maddox; 17-year-old Pax; 16-year-old Zahara; 14-year-old Shiloh; and 12-year-old twins, Knox and Vivienne.

"The past few years have been pretty hard," she said in a February interview with British Vogue. "I've been focusing on healing our family. It's slowly coming back, like the ice melting and the blood returning to my body." She also mentioned that she moved the family to a new house "to be close to their dad, who is only five minutes away."

For more on families raising kids in the spotlight, check out Justin Timberlake May Have Just Shared a Rare Photo of His Son.

She has another big role coming up.

Angelina Jolie at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival
PAN Photo Agency /

Those Who Wish Me Dead isn't Jolie's only acting gig being released this year. The 45-year-old A-lister will co-star in the new Chloé Zhao-directed Marvel movie Eternals, as the immortal superhero Thena. The ensemble cast also includes Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, and Kumail Nanjiani, to name a few.

"I love this cast, and that we all came together," Jolie told British Vogue. "I signed up to support Chloé's vision and Marvel's commitment to expand the way we see 'superheroes.' Running around in a gold bodysuit was not how I imagined my 40s. But it's good crazy, I think."

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Her last directing project was in 2017.

Angelina Jolie in "By the Sea"
Universal Pictures

Jolie has directed four feature films: In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011), Unbroken (2014), By the Sea (2015), and First They Killed My Father (2017). In addition to directing By the Sea, she also co-starred in the movie with Pitt. In the interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jolie explained that working as a director gave her a new perspective as an actor.

"I'm more aware of what the director needs, and what other challenges they're facing, and how many different pieces are moving," she said.

Speaking about the intense set of Those Who Wish Me Dead in particular, she added: "Maybe when you're younger and you're having a huge day where you have to be cold and wet and emotional and crying, you're thinking about those things. Now you've directed and you're older, and you realize that while you are going to be freezing and crying, there's also pyrotechnics going on, or multiple other situations. It pulls you out of yourself."

For the lows of Jolie's lengthy career, check out The Worst Angelina Jolie Movie of All Time, According to Critics.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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