Angelina Jolie has given strength to men, stating that they can play a role in shaping girls into strong women.
During recent promotions for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Angelina has spoken about her strong female characters but has provided a fresh outlook into what a ‘strong woman’ is. She said that female characters shouldn’t have to be shown to be physically built in order to be ‘strong’.
She continued, “I think that, so often, when a story’s told which says ‘this is a strong woman’, she has to beat the man, or she has to be like the man, or she has to somehow not need the man.”
When speaking about her character of Maleficent and Elle Fanning’s of Aurora, she said, “We both very much need and love and learn from the men. And so I think that’s also an important message for young girls, to find their own power, but to respect and learn from the men around them. We have strong women, but the character that is wrong in the film and has to be taken out is also a woman. We show very diverse types of women, between our characters, but also we have extraordinary men in the film, and I really want to press that point.”
Elle Fanning completely agreed with her co-star and said, “Aurora’s strength is her kindness, and she stays very true to herself, which is something I wanted to keep in the film. She is soft and feminine and wants to be a wife and have babies, and that’s a beautiful, strong thing that isn’t portrayed a lot on screen. A lot of the princesses are like ‘we’re gonna make her a strong princess! And make her tough, so we’re gonna make her fight!’ And it’s like, is that what being a strong woman means? Like, we just have to have a sword and have armour on and go fight? Aurora can do that in a different way, in a pink dress, and it’s beautiful that she keeps her softness and vulnerabilities.”
The sequel will follow Aurora as she prepares to become a woman in her own right – but when Michelle Pfeiffer appears to prove competition to the kingdom, Maleficent may have to put aside her maternal instincts in order to fight back.
Jolie says of Aurora’s progression within the film, “One of the interesting things is, without realising, we’ve hit the chapters of the growth of a woman,” she said. “Her birth, her christening, to being a little girl, a teenage girl, to now being a wife. And so in a way the chapters are following a few things, but one of them is how a woman grows and evolves.”
The comments were a surprise to hear from Jolie who has notoriously played ‘badass’ women who can hold themselves up in a fight such as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider and other roles where she is an action hero. Whether through changes in her personal life through becoming a mother or not, Jolie is championing all women – not just the ones who could kick someone’s ass.