On the reason she chose to co-star in The Tourist: I was looking for a very short thing to do before Brad started filming [Moneyball],” she says.“And I said I needed something that shoots not too long, in a nice location for my family. Somebody said there’s a script that’s been around, and it shoots in Venice and Paris. And I said, ‘Is it a character I haven’t played before?’ And they said, ‘Yes, it’s a lady.’ ” She laughs: Uhhuhhuhhehhehheh.
On her kids thinking she’s goth: “As Brad’ll tell you—and my kids—apparently Mommy only wears black,” she says. Because she was a Goth, right? No, she says, it’s utilitarian, it’s practical: “I like to get up so every pair of pants goes with every top, every dress goes with every shoe. I’ve a very tiny closet. Brad’s always laughing at me. Some days, yes, I have the nightgown that looks like a dress that I can sleep in and pick the kids up at school. And maybe take a meeting if I switch into heels.”
On making her own little UN: And that is why she does the child-rearing thing that she is most viciously excoriated for: first of all, hiring polyglot nannies in a kind of family language bank (one helper speaks Vietnamese to Pax; another, Cambodian to Maddox. “We have not yet attempted Amharic,” says Jolie—Zahara’s from Ethiopia—“but we will one day”).
On Pax being a better cook than she is: “Sometimes. I’m not the best cook. Pax is a better cook than me. Pax likes to cook. But I try to when I can. Any house that we’re in, we all chip in. But the kids are very sweet . . . so enthusiastic anytime I cook.
On how Maddox molded her into Mother Teresa: Especially Maddox; he’s just this little man that’s very supportive of me—it’s like he’s raised me a bit. So I cooked them all breakfast before school this morning, and he has that kind of ‘Thanks, Mom! Good job!’ ”
On Shiloh being weird: “Shiloh found a dead bird, so she came in and said, ‘Can I have a dead pet?’ And I’m . . . ‘Uh-uh, I don’t think it’s healthy, honey. I think they have to put him in a box,’ and I had to run out to find, like, a taxidermy bird. I just worked it out for her.”Did Shiloh know about taxidermy? “No. But I figured that I couldn’t keep the actual dead bird from the yard, so I swayed her toward one that had been cleaned, at least.”
I would have told my kid that if she wanted a dead bird, she’d have to go out there and kill one herself. You can’t let other people do all the work for you. That’s just good parenting.