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Angelina Jolie takes on The Tourist

Angelina Jolie is right at home in France. That is where we are catching up with the megastar as Jolie and Johnny Depp are in Paris to talk The Tourist.

Angelina JolieThe Tourist marks the first time these enormous movie stars have appeared in the same film. Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp have combined to produce billions of box office bang.

With both Jolie and Depp starring in The Tourist, audiences will be in superstar heaven — look for the stars to have another movie explode with success.

Angelina’s awesome year

SheKnows: Were you aware of your walk in the film in terms of your character and how she moves? In those opening frames, there’s a sensational sense to your way of moving down the street.

Angelina Jolie: Well, I was conscious because the first time I did it, I had the camera about a foot behind my rear end following me down the streets of Paris, and I thought, “Oh, this is so uncomfortable. This is the most bizarre.” [Laughs] Because it’s one thing when you’re walking, but when somebody’s watching the way you walk, you actually become very aware. And in five-inch heels on cobblestone, it was not the most pleasant. You have the fun of being a girl. I think it was fun for me to discover that because having come off Salt and even literally being a guy, it was nice to rediscover my inner female.

SheKnows: There’s an elegance to the project…

Angelina Jolie: Well, when you meet Florian [The Tourist director Henckel von Donnersmarck], you’ll see every detail of that, right down to she wouldn’t wear diamonds during the day because of the way she was raised. I think my note that I got every day was slow down. Because I think a very modern woman, we attack things. We’re aggressive, we move through. We’re like New Yorkers, you know? I think he was trying to teach me about having this way of being bred with this elegance, how to feel that time moves around you. This was the hardest thing for me, to kind of take a deep breath and just glide a little more. It took me a really long time.

SheKnows: Did you have input into wardrobe?

Angelina Jolie: I did certainly chime in about things that I thought were right for the character, things I thought were too much. We wanted to make sure she had a kind of sexiness but it was fun, that it had an elegance and a fun to it.

The Tourist star Angelina Jolie

SheKnows: The film recalls in many ways, a Grace Kelly sort of feel, a la Alfred Hitchcock…

Angelina Jolie: It took me a while to get the heels and the gloves and the whole how to hold the handbag. I think everybody knows I’m not necessarily that female in that way. So it was a little bit of an exercise to get in there.

SheKnows: Between Salt and The Tourist, 2010 has been the year of the action film for you. What’s drawing you to them?

Angelina Jolie: I love that you think this is an action film! I actually did it for kind of the opposite reason. Maybe for me it wasn’t an action film. There was action in it, but I didn’t get to participate as much. I float [laughs]. Honestly, this one came about in that I had finished Salt, and Brad was to work next — and he had a small delay in his film, Moneyball. So we had a few months and I had questioned if there was anything out there that shot in a great location. Honestly, that was the phone call I made [laughs]. I got this call that there was this film that happened to shoot in Venice and Paris and it was a real lady, and I thought, “Sounds good!” I was interested, and then Florian came on board and then Johnny and then it just was a pleasure. It was just one of those really nice films to work on.

When Angie met Johnny

SheKnows: I read you went to meet Johnny at his office, what did you see? And also, I heard he was late!

The Tourist stars Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie: Do you want me to tell you what’s in his office? Sure! I was on time, for the record [laughs]. I was not early. But, just when you walk into somebody’s office, you see what’s important to them. And he’s got lots of books and lots of pictures of his children, so it’s immediately somebody you feel at ease with.

SheKnows: Working with Johnny Depp is a long time coming for audiences. What did you discover from the Johnny Depp experience?

Angelina Jolie: He’s just such a nice guy. He’s so funny, he’s so fun to hang out with. He’s that friend you’re just so happy to come to work and do scenes with. And he’s just a brilliant actor. He’s often thought of so much for his deep character work, but it really comes from an artist who’s willing to try things, not just somebody who’s doing these fun things. He’s a real experimental, deeply feeling artist who gives a lot and tries a lot and is very gracious on set and to his fellow actors. He was just a pleasure.

SheKnows: How was it working with Depp playing uncool — and how hard is it to not laugh?

Angelina Jolie: There’s some footage floating around that I’m surprised hasn’t surfaced of a good 15 minutes, half an hour — there was a good run where we could not stop laughing. We wasted a lot of film, and I got a lot of producers a little frustrated because we just couldn’t get through it. We just couldn’t stop laughing. So yes, we failed quite a few times. And the outtakes of this, I’m sure, are very funny.

Angelina Jolie directs

SheKnows: How are things with the directorial debut?

Angelina Jolie: I am done filming it, I go back to edit in January. And it was great, it was really nice to have an opportunity to take the spotlight off myself and put it on some brilliant actors that are from an area that the world doesn’t get to see. I just felt lucky to be there for them.

SheKnows: Who are some past directors you’ve learned from?

Angelina Jolie directs in Bosnia

Angelina Jolie: I’m sure it’s a combination of quite a lot of directors. I’ve learned a lot from Clint [Eastwood], who’s an extremely economic director. I learned a lot from Michael Winterbottom [A Mighty Heart], who really gave a lot of trust in the actors and allowed them to live kind of in the space and then captured them in the space instead of trying to manipulate and make it too set and too staged. Working with De Niro taught me a lot about being an actor’s director and what that is. So I have learned a lot from pretty much everybody. Hopefully I’ve picked up something from everybody I’ve worked with.

SheKnows: Has being a director changed your view of acting?

Angelina Jolie: It has. I had such a wonderful experience being more with the crew. I think actors, because we’re in the world of the characters and the world of the movie, we’re kind of more isolated. And it was really fun to wake up and be a part of the entire crew and family with the entire crew, and not being isolated. I was much more aware of the process and every different layer of the process. I was just really excited to watch other actresses work and do the scenes that I would’ve maybe liked to have tried to do, but then I see them do them and they do them better than I could have imagined.

SheKnows: Is there a movie heroine that inspired you?

Angelina Jolie: I think it was just a combination of what we all think in our minds is female. I don’t know what the different references are. My mother had a real softness to her and she was very gracious. Vivienne, my youngest daughter, is extremely female and very naturally a real girl. So I kind of played Vivienne in the film. But I guess I tried not to pin it down to one person as much. The accent I based on an English woman. So it’s a combination.

Up next…Angelina talks about what it means to work and live abroad and the powerful cultural effect it’s having on her children.

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