A Conversation with Angelina Jolie – Mother, Actress, Icon and the New Face of Louis Vuitton

Angelina Jolie, mother, superstar, and longtime love of Brad Pitt, has reportedly inked a deal with Louis Vuitton, the luxury retailer that will make the talented actress the new face of their iconic brand for a print only global campaign due out summer 2011.

Jolie will join the ranks of other Hollywood heavyweights, including Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, that have graced the ultra luxurious French fashion house campaigns. Jolie, sources indicate, will reportedly earn 10MM. The promotion will be captured by legendary photographer Annie Leibowitz.

Prior to the release of the mega blockbuster SALT, Angelina Jolie participated in roundtable interviews along with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Liev Schrieber, Director Phillipe Noyce and Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

The interviews were conducted at The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown. Ms. Jolie was the third to our table. She was pleasant, forthcoming, informative and willing to talk, in depth, on the film, family and career.

She emphatically denied the recent retirement rumor spawned by the August 2010 Vanity Fair cover, never spoke on Brad, her relationship, their lives together or any juicy morsels that may drive site traffic or sell magazines. The photos of the two for the SALT premiere certainly dispelled any rumors and as it is Hollywood, where fairy tales do come true and things are never the way they seem, we can only hope, for the sake of site traffic and magazines sales that some juicy morsel appears on the horizon.

We had, collectively, fifteen minutes and the following are my exchanges with Ms. Jolie.

Janet Walker: Do you have a most memorable moment working on this film? I asked this question at every roundtable and they’ve all indicated they had these moments, very poignant moments, in the script process and I was wondering if you had one also?

Angelina Jolie: Um, I don’t know if it was that kind of movie for me. I think maybe watching the children. I think that maybe for me, they had to sit me down and they showed me all this footage of children in institutionalized settings doing all these things and as a little me which kind of looked a bit like Shiloh to me and she was almost in it for a moment. I guess it told me so much about my character but it also made me think of those kids. My character is orphaned. To see the little baby in the classroom by itself obviously I’m drawn to that moment.

Janet Walker: At the Spy Museum Expert Panel, the CIA Consultant talked about how she worked with you specifically on the Walk-In and how it was very important and she said you sat with her for some time picking her brain on that and can you tell me what you were trying to gather from her for that particular scene?

Angelina Jolie: Well, for the Walk-In as far as the details, I don’t remember the specifics things such as how she behaved or what was appropriate or is this technically right, that kind of stuff. It was more, for me, this understanding of the loneliness of someone who’s not allowed to talk to their family about anything and just studying her which she probably didn’t realize I was studying her. I was asking her questions and watching her mannerism and just her behavior and just her. She is so the opposite of this tough and I’m feeling, ‘Am I tough enough?’ and she doesn’t fit that package, the obvious tough either and yet she is the real thing. So, it gave me comfort to know that I could also be lady and a woman and there was the reality to that as well and that I didn’t have to go tough and not try to mimic some idea but to actually study this lovely lady who had actually done this.

Janet Walker: You mentioned your physical training. You mentioned you had, it sounded like some Martial Arts training. Is that stage combat or film combat training or did they put you through the actual rigors of boot camp style physical fitness?

Angelina Jolie: You know, I told them I just don’t have time to train. A lot of this for me was just getting back in to working out. I had babies and it was just actually getting my boots back on and punching again and trying. So we really crammed it in pretty fast. It was a lot of learning while doing. They did try to train me in different styles. We started kind of fancy with some Tai and wide kicks and then we realized it had to be more street fighting. It had to be more hands in somebody’s face and grapple and kick and punch. It had to be the quickest way to take somebody down; not the most interesting and prettiest way.

SALT earned over 300mm in combined, theatrical and home entertainment, sales and with those numbers one can be sure we haven’t seen the last of Evelyn Salt. The Louis Vuitton campaign, due to launch summer 2011, will solidify Angelina Jolie as a global icon.