I know you’ve seen it before but I just want to start here by describing for you what it’s like on a red carpet, because it’s important to understand the contrast. When major name stars arrive on a red carpet, it’s LOUD. The fans are yelling to get the star’s attention, the media need her attention so that the star will stop for an interview. The publicists and wranglers are hustling the non-stars through the bottleneck, it’s a frenetic situation. Nobody’s meditating on a red carpet is what I’m saying.

Yesterday, however, on the Angelina Jolie red carpet, it was like prayer circle. This was at The Breadwinner premiere, a Canadian co-pro she produced that would never get the attention it received were she not involved, obviously. Sasha was there producing Traci Melchor, the reporter representing etalk at the event. Both Sasha and Traci have been doing this for years. They know what a situation like this *should* look like. And both of them told me afterwards that it was the weirdest thing. When Angelina arrived, with all of her children but Maddox (I know Pax isn’t in these photos but I saw him in the television coverage), the whole place went silent. If it had been just the fans going quiet, in awe, that would be understandable. What’s crazy is that it was also the press. Remember, these are people who’ve seen some sh-t. Many are jaded, cynical, over it. No entertainment outlet is sending an amateur first-timer onto an Angelina Jolie red carpet. You need experience out there to bring back what you need. And THESE were the people who heard the angels sing, or felt the warmth of the sun, or something – because it was like church. Here’s how Sasha put it:

“It was so f-cking weird and, like, journalists were so stunned that no one knew how to form sentences. It was the weirdest, quietest carpet. I think stunned by all her kids being there or something. I still don’t understand it. Unless it’s just the power of her presence…?”

I’m telling you. Reporters on red carpets are SHOUTERS. Watch this. There is no shouting. I have never heard a red carpet this calm. You may hear some voices but if this was normal? The volume on this sh-t would have been 100 times worse:


It's @tracimelchor's moment with Angelina and her kids! 🙌 #etalkTIFF #TIFF17 #angelinajolie #toronto

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That’s what you forget though. That Angelina Jolie is one of the few Ultimate Movie Stars, in a time when we’ve stopped producing Ultimate Movie Stars. Other people told me later on that they’d forgotten what it was like to look at her. It’s that face, that spectacular face. They used to say this about Elizabeth Taylor’s face. That it could stop people from talking, sometimes breathing. A few colleagues who were there yesterday made the same observations. She was wearing very little makeup. Which all of them mentioned and as a qualifier, like, “She was wearing minimal makeup…and she STILL was more beautiful than anyone ever”. And then of course the reaction to all the children being there which kinda amplified the vibe because, of course, we’ve been looking at pictures of the children since, practically, the day they were born. Since the beginning of Brange, the most significant celebrity relationship of the last two decades. In combination then, her face, her fame, her charisma, and the children, this is the Angelina Effect, as potent on her own as it ever was when she was with Brad.

More on Angelina tomorrow or later as she has another premiere and she’s speaking at the Tina Brown Women In The World event.