tv CNN Spotlight CNN May 9, 2014 10:00pm-10:31pm PDT
>> we know her as the red-hot movie star and sultry sex symbol. >> she is one of the most beautiful women on the planet, let's face it. >> a former wild child with a dark side. >> she was very into embalming dead bodies. >> and bizarre love life turned megawatt actress and action hero. >> still alive, baby? >> she sizzled on the screen with future flame brad pitt in "mr. and mrs. smith," now one of hollywood's most powerful
couples. >> they are the real deal. so much of her passion plays off the screen. >> you see these people who have so much pain and loss. >> your sister got shot? >> it just changed everything. >> a global humanitarian and mom of six. and after a bold decision -- >> oh, it was definitely shocking. >> a real-life heroine. >> i've been very happy just to see the discussion about women's health expanded. >> we shined the cnn spotlight on angelina jolie. late february, angelina jolie makes a surprise visit to syrian
refugee children in lebanon. >> lebanon, as you know, has the highest concentration of refugees of any country in the world in recent history. we must do all that we can to support them. >> hala and her five siblings arrived here as orphans. >> while she was there, angelina together with the u.n. film admin any documentary at one of lebanon's refugee camps. the poignant short film features five children living on their own after their mother was killed in an air strike in syria. >> was she like you? >> it's a bittersweet evening. >> in november, jolie was honored with the jean hersholt humanitarian award. >> there is a lot more to do. >> in an emotional speech, she credited her late mother for teaching the importance of compassion. >> i will do the best i can with this life to be of use and to stand here today means that i
did as she asked. and if she were alive, she would be very proud. so thank you for that. [ applause ] >> jolie trekked to lebanon after spending months in australia with her own children. >> as a kid, was always in trouble. >> she was filming "unbroken," the true story of an olympic runner taken prisoner by japanese forces by world war ii. it's the a-lister's second stab at directing, and this month the movie star, director and u.n. hero is taking an evil turn on the big screen. jolie plays one of disney's most notorious villains in maleficent, a wicked twist on "sleeping beauty." >> then come out. >> then you'll be afraid. >> perhaps jolie at her most vicious. yet her own life is as full of
gripping drama as any of her films. >> i feel very deeply connected to all those women. >> it's been a year since she made a startling confession. >> i get moved to talk about it. >> i think the reason why it resonated and was so shocking to everybody was because here you have this woman identified as a sex goddess, and here she is saying i've had a double mastectomy. >> last february, 38-year-old jolie, humanitarian, oscar winner, fiancee of hollywood hunk brad pitt and doting mom of six underwent a preventative double mastectomy. angelina chose surgery after learning that she carries a mutation of the brca 1 gene which dramatically increases her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
her mother died of ovarian cancer in 2007 and a year ago her aunt died after battling breast cancer. the surgery reduces her likelihood of developing surgery to under 5%. she revealed the news about her surgery in a candid "new york times" op-ed. she wrote, "once i knew that this was my reality, i decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much as i could," adding "i do not feel any less of a woman." i made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity. >> what was the reaction you heard after that op-ed? >> people were just cheering. it's empowerment. suddenly if angelina is saying it, it's in "the new york times," maybe i don't have to be so scared anymore. i can ask these questions. >> has brad supported you much through this what must have been difficult? >> oh, he has been extraordinary. >> just a few weeks after her announcement, angelina stunned
fans when she showed up with brad at his "world war z" premier in london. >> i've been very happy to see the discussion about women's health expanded. and that means the world to me. and after losing my mom to these issues, i'm very grateful to it. >> a lot of people did not expect her to talk to reporters on the red carpet. but it didn't faze angelina. >> and it didn't faze brad pitt. >> how do you feel about her as a woman, now that she has made this decision? >> she's -- brave, bold individual that i fell for in the beginning. and sexy as ever. that's what i tell you. >> that brave decision elevated angelina beyond the bright lights of hollywood. the former wild child has become a role model for the fight against breast cancer, as well as a global crusader for refugees in war-torn countries. >> she went from this self-destructive teenager to this hollywood bad girl that had everyone kind of scared at some moments in her life to just
being this huge sort of mother teresa figure. >> a daughter of hollywood royalty, angelina jolie voigt was born in los angeles on june 4th of 1975. her mother, marcheline bertrand was an actress and homemaker. her father is best known for his iconic roles in "midnight cowboy," -- >> i'm walking here, i'm walking here. >> -- and "coming home." >> her dad, jon voight, who she has had a very up and down rocky relationship throughout the years. >> this is angie. >> he left her when she was 6 months old. and she has spoken about how she has dealt with abandonment issues as a very young child. >> she was a baby when we were divorced. so it surprised me when she said it affected her as severely as it did. but looking back, i can see that
there were times when perhaps she expressed her anger in different ways. >> growing up, jolie seemed to be following in the footsteps of her mom and dad. >> you okay? at 7 years old, she made her film debut, starring with both parents in "looking to get out". >> where are you from, honey? >> las vegas, nevada. >> angelina caught the acting bug. she modelled for a bit and attended beverly hills high school, but she wasn't like most hollywood kids. >> she was very dark, very goth. i always remember her wearing black lipstick. >> when we come back, angelina's dark days. >> the ritual of having cut myself and feeling pain, maybe, was somehow therapeutic to me.
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the world by storm as a movie star in films like "wanted," her teenaged years weren't quite so glamorous. >> she was very dark, very goth. i always remember her wearing black lipstick. >> she was very into embalming dead bodies and self-mutilation. >> i collected knives, and i always had certain things around. for some reason, the ritual of having cut myself and feeling, like, feeling pain, maybe, feeling alive, feeling some kind of release, it was somehow therapeutic to me. >> not bad. >> eventually, angelina's dark nature spilled over into her career. her roles became edgier. >> are you challenging me? >> by the time she hit 19, angelina had appeared in five films. >> never send a boy to do a woman's job. >> her biggest role to date in 1995's "hackers," a thriller
about computer geeks. months later the she marry herd co-star, jonny lee miller. the marriage was short-lived. but it gave way to a much racier relationship. >> i'm going to tickle you to death, do you understand me? >> this time with actress jenny shimizu, female co-star from "foxfire." angelina was matter of fact about the relationship. >> i thought she was the greatest woman. i had so much fun with her. i found myself loving her and wanting to express that physically. >> do you think you can remember that? >> in what would become a common theme of angelina's art imitating life, she channeled her affinity for experimentation into one of the most captivating roll roles of her career, as the heroin-addicted lesbian gia. >> it was this kind of story this small town girl's great face became a supermodel but
lost her way and turned to drugs. >> angelina said that heroin was so close to her life at one point that if she wasn't careful, she could have ended up like gia. >> well, now i don't know what to say. >> when angelina played her, it was like who is this girl, this actress? >> this actress garnered a golden globe for her performance. but angelina's next role took her to the pinnacle of her craft. in 1999 she played a mental patient in "girl interrupted" alongside winona ryder. >> you lie down, confess your secrets and you're saved. >> "girls interrupted" was the movie that said wow, this is a movie star. that's when you knew she was here to stay. >> angelina took home an oscar for the role. but this the end, it wasn't her win that grabbed national headlines.
>> the tabloids found her then to more so maybe for the kiss with her brother? >> right on the lips. and there was a lot of late night jokes. >> the kiss with brother james haven raised many eyebrows. but angelina promptly played it down. >> there is nothing at all bizarre or sexual or strange going on. my brother and i are very, very good friends. we deeply love and care about each other. >> it turned out she was in a serious relationship with actor billy bob thornton. >> your husband has a beautiful voice. >> her co-star in the comedy "pushing tin." >> he was 44. she was 20 years younger than him. but they were theater. >> you didn't know whether it was real, if it wasn't real, what was real. >> the relationship was real, and in 2000, the couple eloped in vegas. billy bob and angelina were one of tinsel town's quirkiest couples.
>> they walked around with each other's blood around their necks. for their one-year anniversary, they bought each other burial plots next to each other. >> it was almost like performance art. >> angelina's relationship was front and center. but it took a back seat as she was primed for super stardom. >> "lara croft: tomb raider" is when we saw a different side of angelina as an actress. she was this major female action figure. >> butt kicker. >> she did her own stunts and she was kicking butt. >> but offscreen, her marriage was crumbling. she and billy bob divorced shortly after her filming in cambodia. while the sun set on one romance, another was on the horizon. >> sweetheart.
>> you still alive, baby? >> she met brad pitt filming "mr. and mrs. smith." they were friends on set, and they just got to know each other. >> brad and angelina's steamy on camera relationship had the entertainment magazines buzzing. the media quickly dubbed them brangelina. >> you think this story is going to have a happy ending? >> but talks of romance between the two ignited a firestorm of bad press. >> angelina took some hits at first for this relationship. >> around the time that angelina met brad pitt, you know, he was married to jennifer aniston. they had this fairy tale wedding, and they were hollywood's it couple. >> but after months of rumors about mr. and mrs. smith, hollywood's it couple split. although brad and angelina denied dating during his marriage, they debuted as a couple in 2005, and in 2012,
they announced their engagement. >> they'd been together for nearly ten years. so they are the real deal. >> brad and angelina defied the odds, changing the narrative around their relationship. angelina's transformation didn't stop there. >> hey, angie. >> coming up, angelina's 180 from wild child to supermom. i am totally blind. i began losing my sight to an eye disease when i was 10. but i learned to live with my blindness a long time ago. so i don't let my blindness get in the way of doing the things i love. but sometimes it feels like my body doesn't know the difference between day and night. i struggle to sleep at night, and stay awake during the day. i found out this is called non-24,
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as action hero lara croft, angelina jolie's mission is to save the world against all evil. angelina had no idea how much that role would change her own life. >> she went around the world, shooting "tomb raider," and she was exposed to international refugees. and it was sort of like her call to action. >> my eyes were opened through meeting people of other countries and seeing what life was like for them in countries like cambodia and sierra leone. >> what are you going to do when the food runs out? >> oh, we usually find a way. >> then while researching her role in the film "beyond borders," jolie travelled to africa and asia as part of a united nations refugee mission. >> they said what was this kind of strange creature that was coming to the middle of place that seemed not to fit at all. >> she was such a perfect fit
that in august of 2001, she became a goodwill ambassador for the u.n. refugee agency. >> i was very focused on myself, on my career, on my life. i had done things, you know, like most teenagers, hurting myself. and then suddenly you see these people who have so much pain and loss, and you just feel like your whole life you have just been so sheltered and so spoil with so much. it just changed everything. >> her first visit to a refugee camp in africa shook her to the core. >> the first child i saw die, i saw him dying. my thought was well, we'll just airlift him, take him to the hospital. i can just solve this in a second. that moment you look around and realize there are hundreds of thousands of people in the exact same situation, and that a lot of these kids were going to die.
and then i went home and i thought i should have at least taken one. and i'll always kick myself for not trying with just that one. >> a year later, she did. in march of 2002, angelina adopted 7-month-old maddox from a cambodian orphanage. was that a turning point in her life? >> you have her really paying attention to international humanitarian relief efforts, and becoming a mom, and that really changed her. that's when she found her calling. >> the woman once fascinated with death and the dark side was now on a mission to save lives. >> if i don't decide that today, then what maybe happen, what maybe would have happened to mad if i didn't wake up and make that decision, where would he be? >> in 2005, angelina adopted again, a baby girl from ethiopia she named zahara.
as jolie's family grew, so did her passion for humanitarian work. >> you really saw her influence on brad pitt. before angelina jolie, we didn't know brad pitt as this huge humanitarian. and after angelina, they shared that. it became a common bond. and then they started having children together. >> in 2006, angelina gave birth to daughter shiloh in namibia. less than a year later, the couple adopted pax from a village in vietnam. then the power couple added two more to the brood, twins, vivienne and knox. by 2008, angelina and brad had six kids from all over the world. jolie had emerged as a global crusader with a global family. her roles on screen changed too. >> i had never seen anything so honest. >> she played the widow of assassinated journalist daniel pearl.
>> she went from making girl interrupteds, gias to playing mariane pearl in "a mighty heart" and directing films like "in the land of blood and honey." >> she is very careful about the characters she portrays now, and also the films that she directs. she really believes in bringing attention to the causes that she cares about. >> in 2003, angelina launched the maddox jolie pitt foundation, which raises big bucks for community development in cambodia and the rest of the world. >> she also puts her money where her mouth is. she makes this incredible, insane amount of money. she is not going to miss giving away $5 million to whatever cause. >> but no cause or project takes priority over her children. >> this has become a huge part of who angelina jolie is. she is a very hand-on mom, and she is all about her family. even the roles she takes, she
considers her family first. >> a devoted mother who plans to be there for her children, no matter what it takes, including a radical double mastectomy. >> angelina took this measure because she wanted to protect herself, and she also wanted to protect her children. >> or have to worry about them living life without her like she has had to live life without her mother. >> exactly. >> that decision makes angelina even more appealing to her biggest supporter. >> it's her decision to undertake that. and then to go beyond that and share it with others. because she realizes that this is not available for everyone, and it should be. >> dedicated mom, movie star, global humanitarian, and now real-life heroine. the evolution of angelina
continues. >> angie! angie! angie! ♪ i found the greatest >> an unforgettable voice. ♪ the greatest love of all >> silenced after a troubled life. two years after her tragic death, a look at whitney houston. her life, her music. ♪ ♪ but of all this, i wish you love ♪ >> that legendary ballad, that blinding beauty.