Angelina Jolie: A short biography of the other side
They say that some of the most beautiful and influential people often have inner demons. In the case of Angelina Jolie, depression was one of the most difficult endeavors that she overcame in her teenage years and early 20s. Throughout her adolescent years, Jolie experienced many episodes of suicidal depression. Her single mother was not as affluent as many of the other teens’ parents, and she was bullied for wearing glasses and braces as well as being very thin. Jolie had trouble connecting with others and was turned down by modeling agencies. At 14, Jolie dyed her hair purple, wore black and began to self-harm. She became fascinated with self-mutilation and aspired to become a mortician.
”I collected knives and always had certain things around. For some reason, the ritual of having cut myself and feeling the pain, maybe feeling alive, feeling some kind of release, it was somehow therapeutic to me,” said Jolie in an interview with CNN.
On top of that, Jolie asked her boyfriend at the time to cut her along her jawline on multiple occasions, which has left her with a faint scar today. Finally, at 16, Jolie separated from her boyfriend and decided to focus on her acting career. She was still in a dark place- Jolie often experimented with drugs.
”I have done just about every drug possible,” said Jolie in an interview with The Sunday Times. “Cocaine, heroin, Ecstasy, LSD…”
At 21, Jolie married British actor Jonny Lee Miller. At her wedding, she dressed in black leather pants and a white t-shirt with her to-be husband’s name written on in her blood. After getting married, the couple agreed to wear vials of each others’ blood around their necks. They also signed their wills in blood and purchased his and her’s cemetery pots as anniversary gifts. They acted together in Gia, but soon after the movie was wrapped Jolie separated from Miller and quit her acting job to study film-making and writing in New York.
At this time, Jolie went through a series of struggles, including almost hiring a hit man to kill her. Eventually, Jolie returned to acting, motivated by a Golden Globe award and positive reviews of Gia.
Jolie then began dating model-actress Jenny Shimizu which attracted a lot of attention from the press. She was very open about her depression and her bisexuality, which was not always respected.
While filming Pushing Tin, Jolie met actor Billy Bob Thornton, whom she married just after spending three days in the UCLA Medical Center’s Neuropsychiatric Institute following a nervous breakdown. Shortly after the adoption of her first child, however, Jolie and her second husband filed for divorce. From there, Jolie began the trek to recovery, all while acting in films.
It wasn’t long until Jolie met her current fiancé Brad Pitt on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Both have vowed to wait until gay marriage is legal in all states of the U.S. before marriage.
Angelina Jolie has been through tough times but has emerged as a beautiful, caring, intelligent woman. Today she has six children, three of who were adopted from third-world countries. Jolie has participated in numerous humanitarian events and has served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UNHCR as well as worked with refugees as a Special Envoy.
Anyone can turn their life around- all it takes is a lot of ambition, hope and no looking back. Jolie discussed her mentality with The Sunday Times:
”I’m one of those people who believes you just can’t regret things in life,” said Jolie. “You have to feel confident that it was all part of the journey.”