Angelina Jolie discusses her tough new role in “Those Who Wish Me Dead” in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly.

Jolie plays smokejumper Hannah Faber in the upcoming thriller, set to be released on May 14. Her character ends up being tasked with protecting 12-year-old Connor Casserly (Finn Little) as they’re pursued by twin assassins in the wilderness, all while attempting to stay safe amid a forest fire.

“My character is not maternal by nature,” Jolie says. “Sometimes Taylor [Sheridan, the director] would correct me because my behaviour towards a child was different from [Hannah’s] behaviour towards a child. It took me a little bit to treat [Little] badly, but I got there!”

Angelina Jolie, Finn Little in “Those Who Wish Me Dead”. CREDIT: EMERSON MILLER/WARNER BROS.
Angelina Jolie, Finn Little in “Those Who Wish Me Dead”. CREDIT: EMERSON MILLER/WARNER BROS.

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Jolie shares of playing a smokejumper and working among fire, “The first day we were in the fire, [I noticed] the heat and how quickly the winds would change and how quickly the fire would suddenly take to a tree that you weren’t expecting.

“Our respect just grew for these people on the front lines and how difficult this work is.”

Jolie, who has been in divorce proceedings and custody battles over her and Brad Pitt’s six children since they announced their split in 2016, also talks about previously making the move into directing.

However, her family situation has meant she’s now found herself taking more acting jobs instead.

She tells the publication, “I love directing, but I had a change in my family situation that’s not made it possible for me to direct for a few years. I needed to just do shorter jobs and be home more, so I kind of went back to doing a few acting jobs. That’s really the truth of it.”

Angelina Jolie in “Those Who Wish Me Dead”. CREDIT: WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Angelina Jolie in “Those Who Wish Me Dead”. CREDIT: WARNER BROS. PICTURES

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Jolie adds of her experience behind the camera, “In very technical terms, I’m more aware of what the director needs, and what other challenges they’re facing, and how many different pieces are moving.”

She says of the film’s complicated set pieces, “Maybe when you’re younger and you’re having a huge day where you have to be cold and wet and emotional and crying, you’re thinking about those things.

“Now you’ve directed and you’re older, and you realize that while you are going to be freezing and crying, there’s also pyrotechnics going on, or multiple other situations. It pulls you out of yourself.”