Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie has been evolving throughout her career. She was born into an artistic home, with her father being the Academy Award-nominated Jon Voight. Although she apparently despised him growing up, she definitely inherited his knack for acting and became a world class performer in her own right as an adult.

At the same time, Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, was also an actress herself, although she retired after starring in the 1983 Blake Edwards comedy film, The Man Who Loved Women. Bertrand and Voight had two children together, starting with their first-born son James Haven in May 1973. Jolie was born a little over two years later, and grew up to develop a complicated relationship with her brother as well.

The actress has also gone through many changes in her family life, including the process of having and raising her six kids, as well as her multiple marriages to fellow actors Johnny Lee Miller, Billy Bob Thornton and eventually Brad Pitt.

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Beyond her acting career, Jolie evolved into a world renowned philanthropist, working with organizations such as UNHCR, The Clinton Foundation and various wildlife sanctuary outfits, among others. She also transitioned from the front of the camera and started working as a director for various productions.

Inside Angelina Jolie’s Career As A Director


The very first film that Angelina Jolie directed was A Place in Time, a 2007 documentary that “takes a look at the daily lives of people in more than two dozen countries around the world during the course of a week.” Her directorial debut in a dramatic feature film was in 2011, when she also wrote and produced the movie In the Land of Blood and Honey.

The war drama motion picture was set during the Bosnian War, and told the story of a love affair between a Muslim woman, Ajla, and a Serbian man, Danijel, who are on opposite sides of the conflict. The movie was praised for its raw and powerful portrayal of the atrocities of war, and earned Jolie a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Foreign Language Film.”

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Jolie’s next directorial project was the 2014 film Unbroken, a biographical drama about Olympic runner and WWII veteran Louis Zamperini. Although it never received as much critical acclaim as her previous work, it raked in profits of nearly $100 million at the box office. The Mr. & Mrs. Smith has also gotten behind the camera in the movies By the Sea and First They Killed My Father on Netflix.

Why Did Angelina Jolie Take A Break From Directing?

With Angelina Jolie applying herself on so many fronts, something had to give sooner or later. While she continued with her humanitarian initiatives as well as acting in a number of productions, she appeared to take a step back from directing. In a 2021 interview with Entertainment Weekly, she revealed that this was not by chance, rather a deliberate action on her part.

“I love directing, but I had a change in my family situation that’s not made it possible for me to direct for a few years,” Jolie said.

At the time of the quote, she was still actively involved in her divorce process from Brad Pitt, with the pair also fighting for full custody of their children.

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In light of this, she felt she had to cut down on the work she was doing in order to prioritize her family, and it was her directorial duties that bore the brunt.

“I needed to just do shorter jobs and be home more, so I kind of went back to doing a few acting jobs. That’s really the truth of it,” Jolie added.

Has Angelina Jolie Returned To Directing?

Angelina Jolie at the 2019 San Diego Comic Con International for Marvel's Eternals
via Wikimedia Commons

Since the time when Angelina Jolie was interviewed by EW, the legal battles between her and Brad Pitt only appear to have intensified. At least the custody battle was settled, with her former husband losing whatever previously allotted time had been awarded with the kids.

Perhaps with that particular part of the war won, Jolie is finally finding the room to dip her toes back into the directing waters. She is in fact in the process of helming an upcoming picture titled Without Blood.

Details about the production and release of the film have been kept under wraps, but it is at least known that the story will be based on a novel of the same name by Alessandro Baricco. The book is set in a small town in Italy during World War II, and follows the lives of the townspeople as they struggle to survive and come to terms with the atrocities of war.

Similar to Jolie’s previous films, Without Blood is expected to deal with themes of love, trauma, and survival. The actress is also said to be currently working on Maleficent 3, although her responsibilities in that production will not extend to sitting in the director’s chair.

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