Last week's Manhattan junket for A Mighty Heart was fairly routine -- not at all a paparazzi circus, despite the fact that that press had known days in advance that Angelina Jolie was making the Waldorf Astoria her home base while in town to do publicity for the film. For those who are interested, I was never asked to sign any kind of agreement or contract whatsoever, and none of the other journalists doing roundtable interviews were, either. I think that kind of thing was restricted to journalists doing one on one interviews. The only out-of-the-ordinary thing that happened during the entire day was that the studio publicists made a big show of setting up their own tape recorder to record our conversation with Jolie, for what purpose I have no idea. Anyway, here is a sampling of some of the questions and answers batted back and forth during the roundtables. Some of the questions are mine, some are from the rest of the table. Enjoy.
Playing a character who is not only real but also very involved -- what pressure does that put on you as an actress?
Huge pressure. So much so that I didn't sleep the night before and I questioned myself through the entire process of making this film. I respected her before I met her, when I saw how she handled the situation, just as a viewer watching CNN, and when I met her I discovered what a lovely woman, what a gracious person she is, what a great mom she is, and she's the last person I'd want to disappoint in any way. It was a huge responsibility to not just try to be her in the film, but to be her during the most difficult time of her life and to try to interpret her pain or her love for her husband. She had faith in me, that I would be the right person to do it, and I think without that I would never have taken the role.
What was your first meeting with her like?
Our initial meeting was before the film. We just had a play date. [laughs] The film was very much a second thought in our relationship. She was somebody who I liked as a woman and still think ... we have different things that in common that we want to work on internationally and domestically, and our kids like each other. So that's the most important reason for our friendship -- we get the kids together. It's strange for that to have evolved and for me to sit with her one day and to realize that we were going to do this and I was going to play her. It was strange -- it was very strange. She was wonderful. There's no vanity, and just believed that if everybody understood the book and understood the intention and why she lived her life the way she did, and what she and Danny represented, that if we understood that, then we would do our best and try. And as long as everybody tried their best, that was all she could ask. So she was the nicest person to work with, but because she had faith in us, it also made us that much more nervous.