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June 4, 2014

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Glamour meets elegance as Jolie stars in the city

ONE of the world’s most glamorous women, Angelina Jolie was in Shanghai yesterday to promote her latest movie “Maleficent.”

The actress said she was thrilled the movie had topped the box office over the past weekend, taking in almost US$70 million on its US debut.

“This type of film is really one you do for the audience. It thrills me that people are enjoying it and it’s a success,” she told a news conference in the city, where she is promoting the live-action fairy tale before its Chinese mainland opening on June 20.

It tells the story of the malevolent fairy from Disney’s 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty.”

“I was deeply touched the first time I read the script,” Jolie said. “It felt like a big secret was revealed. We all know the story of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and what Maleficent did, but we don’t know what happened before.”

Jolie was accompanied by her partner, the actor Brad Pitt, and three of their children on what was the actress’s first visit to China’s mainland. The family visited the Long Museum for Contemporary Art and her children learned how to make Chinese snacks.

She described Shanghai as “elegant.”

Pitt, who was punched in the face last week while signing autographs at the movie’s Hollywood premiere, did not appear at the Shanghai news conference, nor did the children, one of whom, 5-year-old Vivienne, plays a young Princess Aurora in the film.

“They are having a dim sum class today and a lot of the local food. We love Chinese food anyway, so now we get to have the authentic Chinese food, and they are having a wonderful time. Vivienne asked me not to go home today,” Jolie said.

China had the world’s second largest box office at US$3.6 billion last year. As a result it has attracted a steady stream of Hollywood stars promoting their latest offerings.

Jolie said she would welcome the chance to work with a Chinese director, but she hoped her own career would shift from just acting to working behind the camera.

She said she is an admirer of the work of director Ang Lee. His work and the actors in his films are the ones she is most familiar with.

“In the future, I will be doing less acting and more directing if I’m fortunate enough to have that career,” she said.

Her directing credits include “In the Land of Blood and Honey” about the Bosnian war.

Jolie said her children were a little frightened when they saw her dressed up for her role in “Maleficent.”

But she said she hoped to play the character again and admitted taking home a souvenir of the film — the curly, black horns from her costume.

Jolie turns 39 today, but says she doesn’t know how she will spend her birthday because Pitt and the children usually plan a surprise. As for her birthday wish, she said: “like every mother my wish every birthday is for my children to stay healthy and for my family to remain healthy, so I will continue that.”



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