Angelina Jolie caps journey from wild child to doting mother
By Belinda Goldsmith and Piya Sinha-Roy
CANNES/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As a tattooed wild child wearing her husband's blood in a locket and luring Brad Pitt away from Hollywood rival Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie was dream fodder for the tabloid press.
But her transformation into a humanitarian campaigner and now poster girl for the fight against breast cancer with her revelation that, faced with a high cancer risk, she had undergone a double mastectomy has elevated her to heroine status in the media.
Her deeply personal account of the decision to undergo the operation, published in the New York Times, won her wide praise for her courage and Pitt's support of her move has put the couple in a new light in and beyond Hollywood. Jolie said she made the difficult choice in order to "tell my children that they don't need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer."
"This week they have shown that they are real people and a real couple with a solid relationship," said Wendy Mitchell, editor at trade magazine Screen International, speaking at the world's largest film festival in Cannes.
"They have both grown up and even though the tabloid press will still chase them, there is a new respect there for them."
Jolie, 37, has managed to put her wild reputation behind her, staying out of the public spotlight with Pitt and their six children and only taking to the stage to promote films and causes in which she is involved.
In April, she stood alongside British Foreign Secretary William Hague at a G8 meeting in London, her hair in a bun and in a business suit more typical of Wall Street than Hollywood, to pledge an end to sexual violence and rape in war zones.
A month earlier, in her role as a special envoy for the U.N. Human Rights Council, Jolie accompanied Hague to refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo, never giving an indication of the personal health traumas she was going through at that time. Continued...