• Golden Globe Awards

Out of the Archives: Angelina Jolie About “Girl, Interrupted”

In 1999 Angelina Jolie spoke to the journalists of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association about Girl, Interrupted, directed by James Mangold, and co-starring Winona Ryder. Her performance as Lisa, the sociopath held in a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s, earned her a third Golden Globe award as Best Supporting Actress.
“In the film, she is a character in a mental institution, a very extreme and damaged person, but Lisa is a real person, she was in there since she was twelve, a little kid, she was raised there somewhat, so it was very normal to her, it was the world she lived in, that was her family. As Lisa I was tied down and I was told I was hurting people, that I wasn’t good and I wasn’t right, and that was so painful, it felt so bad, that I wanted to get out of there, so I was breaking out and finding myself.”
“I loved One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest when I was a little girl, so this was a dream role for me. I made her a composite back history, I didn’t really make one up, somehow it ended up being me. They were pieces of my life that made me really want to reach out to people, to feel alive and free. It was my own persona. I didn’t define her; I couldn’t play her thinking I had a mental illness. I don’t think anybody is out and out evil, give me somebody who’s really evil and it’s coming from an insecurity.”
“It’s not a decision that the people in there make to suddenly become normal. It’s the people who are telling them they should be put away that need to realize that there’s nothing wrong or odd with them. We do that to each other, we have these judgments and these labels we put on ourselves, these therapies, where we see each other that way, we are affected by the other person’s oddity and we don’t see through it, whereas we should make that person comfortable and adjust to them. But it is not a good idea to decide that these people should be put into a separate section, I don’t think anybody should be categorized.”
“According to that criteria, I should be locked up. To be honest, there’s a lot of Lisa in me. I certainly have been told a lot of times that I’m dark or that people think I’m crazy. I didn’t think that Lisa was insane, that she deserved to be locked up. When people said that they felt for Lisa, it meant so much to me, because for so long, when we were shooting the movie, I heard that she was a cold-hearted person, a monster, terrible and dangerous, that nobody cared if she died. So, I had to convince myself that I wasn’t a bad person, that I could be a good mother one day and a good wife, and yet somehow for some people I’m still the girl in leather pants with tattoos.”
“People always think I’m morbid and that Lisa is dark, but Lisa is so in love with life. And I’m probably the lightest person. I don’t think about death, I don’t fear it. I fear living half-dead, living not completely or dishonestly, but I don’t believe that there’s a sin, bad people and good people, or that there’s anything bad about anybody.”