Angelina Jolie covers the September issue of Vanity Fair, but it’s her comments in her interview that continue to make headlines.
When asked about the casting process for her upcoming movie “First They Killed My Father”, Jolie’s comments sparked some criticism regarding the casting of the children for the movie.
According to the Vanity Fair profile, the casting directors created a game to cast the children in the movie. For the game, they had money on the table and asked the children auditioning to think of what the money would be for if they had it and then they would take it away.
“Srey Moch (the girl ultimately chosen for the part) was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time,” Jolie said. “When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back. When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral,” she continued.
Following the criticism over the casting process, Jolie clarified her comments, which she said had been taken out of context and was upset that the casting game “had been written about as if it were a real scenario”.
“Every measure was taken to ensure the safety, comfort and well-being of the children on the film starting from the auditions through production to the present,” Jolie said.
Now, Vanity Fair is responding to Jolie’s comments. According to the magazine, Jolie’s lawyer contacted them and suggested that contributing editor Evgenia Peretz wrongly reported on what had actually been said. Jolie’s lawyer also suggested the magazine run a pre-written statement and issue a correction online and in print for the October issue of the magazine.
Instead, Vanity Fair reviewed both the transcript and audiotapes from Peretz’s interview with Jolie, which was recorded on two different devices and the magazine released a word-for-word transcript from the interview:
“AJ: But it was very hard to find a little Loung. And so it was what they call a slum school. I don’t think that’s a very nice word for it, but a school for kids in very poor areas.
And I think, I mean they didn’t know. We just went in and—you just go in and do some auditions with the kids. And it’s not really an audition with children. We had this game where it would be—and I wasn’t there and they didn’t know what they were really doing. They kind of said, “Oh, a camera’s coming up and we want to play a game with you.” And the game for that character was “We’re going to put some money on the table. Think of something that you need that money for.” Sometimes it was money, sometimes it was a cookie. [Laughter] “And then take it.” And then we would catch them. “We’re going to catch you, and we’d like you to try to lie that you didn’t have it.”
So it was very interesting seeing the kids and how they would—some were very conscious of the camera. They were actually—there are so many talented kids in this country. But Srey Moch was the only child that stared at that money for a very, very long time before she picked it up, and then bravely, brazenly lying, like was trying to hide, but then she also kind of—
EP: Wait. This is the girl, Loung.
AJ: This is the girl. And then when she was forced to give it back became very kind of like strong, emotional, she became overwhelmed with emotion that she was—and she just—all of these different things flooded out. And I don’t think she or her family would mind me saying when she was later asked what that money was for, she said her grandfather died and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.”
In the end, the magazine said: “After reviewing the audiotape, V.F. stands by Peretz’s story as published.”