Is it only me or does it seem like Angelina Jolie does not care one iota what we think of her? Just to be clear, I’ve never met Angelina Jolie. Nor do I suffer from one of those celebrity fantasies where I think if Angelina and I did meet, we’d become instant BFFs bonding over how much we both wear black. No. In fact, it’s the opposite. I think if Angelina met me, within five minutes she’d slap me hard across the face exclaiming, Stop caring about what everyone else thinks all the time!
This is a woman who gushed about being in love with her brother at the 2000 Academy Awards and kissed him on the lips. A woman who, in 2005, stole another woman’s husband. And before the moving van finished delivering Brad Pitt’s architecturally important furniture to their new manse, W magazine published a photo spread of the two of them with five children entitled “Domestic Bliss,” three months before Brad’s divorce to Jennifer Aniston would be finalized. No mere celebrity mortal could survive the whiff of adultery and incest but these things do not cling to the transcendent Ms. Jolie.
She does not spend her time shopping. She writes and directs. She flies planes and rides motorcycles. She gets her lover a tattoo while attending Davos. And of course, there’s her charitable activities, too varied and numerous to mention, like her children. And throughout all her life in the public eye, Angelina Jolie has never asked us to like her. She does not do cutesy self-deprecating shtick (my standard fallback). There have been no People magazine What I Learned cover stories, hinting if she could do it all again, she’d do it differently. She has never aspired to be the girl next door, your BFF—this makes her the coolest girl in school.
And I haven’t yet mentioned the cancer thing. She turned her double prophylactic mastectomy into a public call to women to take control of their health. How she managed to have the surgery in New York City without word leaking to the press shows sly and cunning worthy of Jason Bourne.
This former wild-child/cancer-avoider/humanitarian extraordinaire floats through the world’s airports with six kids and The Sexiest Man Alive circa 1995 and 2000, all holding hands as if in a game of Red Rover Red Rover, and I become a believer of the Church of Angelina Jolie.
Brad Pitt has suggested that being married to Jennifer Aniston was boring. Is that really fair? Breaking the sound barrier, naked, would be boring compared to Angelina Jolie. Even among the world’s most extraordinary people, she’s extraordinary.
I like to imagine Angelina at home calling the shots while Brad flakes out on the sofa, a joint in one hand, while watching SpongeBob with the twins. From now on, whenever I’m feelings doubtful, if I find myself obsessing whether I’ve said or done the right thing, I will ask myself: WWAD--What Would Angie Do? I will evoke it like a mantra, over and over, until she appears like her character Fox from the movie Wanted. She will brush her billowy lips against my ear and in a voice both husky and menacing say: you apologize too much. Then under her tutelage, I will blossom just like James McAvoy did in the movie.
I, for one, cannot wait to see Maleficent this weekend.