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Angelina Jolie Says ‘I Wouldn’t Be an Actress Today’ and Plans to Leave Los Angeles: ‘Hollywood Is Not a Healthy Place’

Angelina Jolie told the Wall Street Journal Magazine that she probably would not become an actor if she was just starting out in the industry in 2023. She’d consider acting on the stage, perhaps, but certainly not a life and career in Hollywood.

“I wouldn’t be an actress today,” the Oscar-winner said. “When I was starting out, it wasn’t as much of an expectation to be as public, to share so much.”

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Being under intense public scrutiny for well over two decades has seemingly taken its toll on Jolie, who found herself even more of a tabloid target after she divorced Brad Pitt seven years ago. The stress got so bad that she noticed in 2018, during the filming of her Disney sequel “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” that her voice had changed registers from when she first played the fairy tale villain.

“My body reacts very strongly to stress,” Jolie said. “My blood sugar goes up and down. I suddenly had Bell’s palsy six months before my divorce.”

Jolie said that she doesn’t “really have a social life” living in Los Angeles these days due to the unwanted attention she gets whenever she steps outside. Not that she pays attention to what’s being written about her in the press.

“I’ve just been around so long and there’s been everything said,” the actor noted.

Jolie added in her interview with The Wall Street Journal Magazine that she eventually plans to leave Los Angeles for good and spend more time at her home in Cambodia.

“It’s part of what happened after my divorce. I lost the ability to live and travel as freely. I will move when I can,” Jolie said. “I grew up in quite a shallow place. Of all the places in the world, Hollywood is not a healthy place. So you seek authenticity.”

Jolie told Vogue magazine in September that she started doing less film work “seven years ago, only taking jobs that didn’t require long shoots.” Why? “We had a lot of healing to do. We’re still finding our footing,” she said.

The Oscar winner did not go into specifics at the time, but the timeline of Jolie’s film hiatus coincides with the end of her marriage to Pitt. She filed for divorce seven years ago in September 2016 after an alleged physical altercation with the actor that took place on a plane.

Jolie said that she feels a “bit down these days,” before revealing: “I don’t feel like I’ve been myself for a decade, in a way. Which I don’t want to get into.”

After leading Disney’s successful tentpole “Maleficent” in 2014 and directing and co-starring opposite Pitt in the 2015 flop “By the Sea,” Jolie’s film output took a significant pause. She’s only had two lead roles in the eight years since: 2019’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” and 2021’s “Those Who Wish Me Dead.” She had supporting roles in Marvel’s “Eternals” (2021) and the 2020 fantasy film “Come Away” (2020) and lent her voice to Disney’s “The One and Only Ivan” (2020) and the upcoming “Kung Fu Panda 4.” She recently wrapped production on Pablo Larrain’s “Maria,” in which she stars as famed opera singer Maria Callas during the last days of her life.

Head over to The Wall Street Journal Magazine’s website to read Jolie’s latest profile in its entirety.

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