Brange family carpet (almost)
Wenn, ROBYN BECK/ Kevin Winter/ Getty
Brange at the Maleficent premiere last night. Sorry it took me so long to write about this. I’ve been waiting all day to buy those family photos – Brange posing with Maddox, Pax, Miss Zahara, Shiloh the Chosen, and Knox. But the agency is taking forever to figure it out. So we’ll come back to that in a separate post when they do. For now… yes… Vivienne, the Brange-child who was actually in the movie wasn’t there. No idea why. You’ll note though – photographers are saying that Maddox, who worked some of the carpet on his own, had a little friend with him. I want to know how Brange will be as parents to a hormonal teenager. I really, really want to know.
Fashion: I hate this dress. I hate the sh-t on the hip. I hate how the leather looks latexy. I wish, instead, that it had been a leather jumpsuit, the same one she wears in the film… WITH WINGS ON HER BACK. Trust me, in that moment, when she’s all Maleficent warrior fighting for her loved ones, that’s an image you won’t forget.
My producer Laura saw it last night. And she said to me after The Social that I was right (because she wasn’t convinced when I came back from the junket) – she loved Maleficent. I LOVED Maleficent. I wasn’t expecting to, to be honest. I was worried. And then five minutes later, my friend Teri Hart and I looked at each other in relief and then joy – first of all, it’s great to look at, SHE is great to look at, and she’s actually funny at times (how long has it been since the Jolie’s been FUNNY?), and then, on top of all it, sh-t, we realised we were watching a fairy tale movie where the female lead is allowed to make mistakes, to be wronged and then to be wrong herself, and to have to be accountable for her poor decisions, and not just someone who stands around letting good and bad things happen to her.
Also… Maleficent gets mad. We often see the women in these movies get frustrated, sometimes even annoyed. But mad? Real anger isn’t an emotion they have the luxury of feeling. Not often. This isn’t relatable. And this is what I loved most about Maleficent. That she could be angry. Vengefully angry. After that, regretful. With no one else to blame. Then, instead of romance, she’s allowed to be redeemed by friendship. The most significant man in her life doesn’t want to rescue her, or save her, but wishes only to help her and follow her lead…with no ulterior romantic motive. These were my takeaways. I can’t sh-t on those takeaways.
As for the experience of interviewing Angelina Jolie…
It’s been widely reported that she doesn’t have a publicist. Some people don’t believe this. It’s true. There was no publicist in the next room for the junket. And for a star of her stature, they are ALWAYS accompanied by their publicists. The only person with Jolie was her personal assistant. And that’s how she handles her publicity. The studio sends over approval requests to the assistant and the Jolie personally reviews the media lists that have been assigned by the various outlets. Highly unusual. Almost never happens. What normally happens is that the publicist, like Stephen Huvane, will oversee the press schedule and the reporter log, without even showing the client, and the actor will just show up that day, trusting that everyone he/she will be talking to have been vetted by his/her rep. Angelina Jolie has removed the middle person from that process so that she has ultimate control. And that’s why working with her takes a lot longer – because she’s already busy and still insists on every single fine point so the studio has to wait, sometimes until the last minute – but, for her, it almost means that she knows all the tiny, seemingly insignificant details of how her day is going to run, who she’ll be sitting down with, and exactly who she’ll be spending her time with.
Being in charge of her own schedule also means she’s ON schedule. My worst fear at a junket is missing my flight, because they’re often booked so tight to time. And we’ve all had junket horror stories. Sometimes Johnny Depp just decides to show up an hour and a half late, you know? And then the reporter can’t stay to interview him for his sh-tty movie because she can’t get another flight home and has to leave before he gets there. So I asked the day before – do you think I should look into flight options, should I be worried that she might be late, that the junket will be behind schedule?
“She’s never late. In fact, sometimes she’s early. Sometimes she’ll get there and just say, I’m ready to go and we’re going.” They guaranteed me that I would make my flight. It was unthinkable to them that she wouldn’t be punctual. Unthinkable. Like that’s her reputation. Always on time. A superstar always on time? That’s what’s unthinkable. And then she showed up on time. So she should. That’s not what’s fascinating. The insight here is how she operates – like Beyonce, a machine, clinical, operational, methodical. Except better. Because when you’re in front of her, she’s so mesmerising the machine falls away. It’s warmth. There are times when you walk in the door and they don’t give a sh-t, they make you feel like you’re just a number. With the Jolie, her hand is out right away, she’s looking to make eye contact, she smiles broadly when you tell her you liked her movie, and then, once you’ve been rewarded with making her happy, that’s all you want to f-cking do for the next ten minutes!
At one point I couldn’t believe she was talking to me about red lipstick. I told her that she was funny in the movie and that she’s rarely funny in movies and she wasn’t insulted. Instead, she got kinda flirty, like her being funny was a gift you might never get so that you better appreciate it when she gives it to you. And when I started coming at the personal questions from the side door, oh she knew exactly what I was doing (the wedding, the planning) but she let me go there anyway, giving me an answer that she knew I could take back to etalk for a good sound-bite and still maintaining a distance… while letting me know that she was fully aware of my game.
Acting? An act?
Sure. That’s her job, after all.
Is to sell.
But as I’ve always said, she seems to be doing it better than anyone else.
More thoughts on the Jolie tomorrow.