We will all remember this day. My grandchildren will one day sit at my feet and ask “Gammy, do you remember when Vanity Fair called Angelina Jolie a liar by publishing a transcript of her interview?” And I will say, yes children, I remember. And of course I’ll be telling said story from a bunker 40 feet below the ground, because there’s no way Angelina Jolie won’t mentally trigger the apocalypse after this.
Not long after Vanity Fair published an interview with Angelina Jolie called A Life in Bold last week, people got upset with a section in which Angelina talks about how she cast the children in her film First The Killed My Father. It allegedly involved searching Cambodian slums and playing a game in which kids were instructed to pretend to steal money before having it taken away from them. Angelina released a statement saying that she would never do such a messed-up thing, and accused Vanity Fair of twisting her words. Vanity Fair remained suspiciously quiet about the whole thing. Little did we know, it was because they were furiously rooting around at the bottom of their purse for the receipts!
Yesterday Vanity Fair published what looked like might be a correction to the Angelina story, but oh it was anything but. Instead what they did was explain that Angelina’s lawyers had contacted Vanity Fair, accusing Evgenia Peretz of “mistakenly” reporting the incident. They also asked Vanity Fair to run the following statement online and in next month’s issue under the title Angelina Jolie Correction:
“The casting crew showed the children the camera and sound recording material, explaining to them that they were going to be asked to act out a part…The children were not tricked as some have suggested…All of the children auditioning were made aware of the fictional aspect of the exercise and were tended to at all times by relatives or guardians from NGOs…We apologize for any misunderstanding.”
That was a real ‘be careful what you wish for’ on the part of Angelina’s lawyers. Because technically Vanity Fair ran that statement. But they also added a whole lot of their own information. They say they reviewed Evgenia Peretz’s transcripts from the interview, which she reportedly recorded on two difference devices. Here’s their alleged conversation about casting, word for word.
Angelina Jolie: But it was very hard to find a little Loung. And so it was what they call a slum school. I don’t think that’s a very nice word for it, but a school for kids in very poor areas.
And I think, I mean they didn’t know. We just went in and – you just go in and do some auditions with the kids. And it’s not really an audition with children. We had this game where it would be – and I wasn’t there and they didn’t know what they were really doing. They kind of said, “Oh, a camera’s coming up and we want to play a game with you.” And the game for that character was “We’re going to put some money on the table. Think of something that you need that money for.” Sometimes it was money, sometimes it was a cookie. [Laughter] “And then take it.” And then we would catch them. “We’re going to catch you, and we’d like you to try to lie that you didn’t have it.”
So it was very interesting seeing the kids and how they would – some were very conscious of the camera. They were actually – there are so many talented kids in this country. But Srey Moch was the only child that stared at that money for a very, very long time before she picked it up, and then bravely, brazenly lying, like was trying to hide, but then she also kind of –
Evgenia Peretz: Wait. This is the girl, Loung.
Angelina Jolie: This is the girl. And then when she was forced to give it back became very kind of like strong, emotional, she became overwhelmed with emotion that she was – and she just – all of these different things flooded out. And I don’t think she or her family would mind me saying when she was later asked what that money was for, she said her grandfather died and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.
Vanity Fair says that after reviewing the audio, they stand by Evgenia Peretz’s story as published. In other news, Chelsea Handler totally just found her new favorite summer beach read.
In Angelina’s statement, she claimed she was horrified at the suggestion that real money was used, and that everyone – especially the kids – knew it was a pretend exercise. And yet, her we are, looking at Angelina admitting they used money and that they kids “didn’t know what they were really doing.” Yikes. Do they have a department at The U.N. for humanitarians who have seriously fucked up? Because I think Angelina might have just gotten demoted to that.