What Angelina Jolie Says About Controversial Auditions Of Cambodian Children

The outcry and accusations of child abuse that followed have prompted Angelina Jolie, a United Nations ambassador, to clarify that the children were not given real money and that it was a version of events depicted in the film

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What Angelina Jolie Says About Controversial Auditions Of Cambodian Children

Angelina Jolie's eldest son Maddox is from Cambodia (courtesy AFP)

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Angelina Jolie cast a Cambodian child in the lead role for her new film
  2. First They Killed My Father is a film she directed for Netflix
  3. The casting process has been criticised as cruel and exploitative
Angelina Jolie has defended the casting process, criticised as cruel and exploitative, in a film she directed for Netflix. In a statement carried by several international sites including BBC, the 42-year-old actress and director has revealed that she's "upset that a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film, has been written about as if it was a real scenario." In an interview with Vanity Fair last week, Angelina Jolie said that casting for the lead role of a Cambodian child in First They Killed My Father, set in the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, involved asking the child actors auditioning to snatch money, then invent a lie about why they wanted it. The children being auditioned were all Cambodian and poor.

The outcry and accusations of child abuse that followed have prompted Angelina Jolie, a United Nations ambassador, to clarify that the children were not given real money and that it was a version of events depicted in the film. "I am upset that a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film, has been written about as if it was a real scenario. The point of this film is to bring attention to the horrors children face in war and to help fight to protect them. The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting. I would be outraged myself if this had happened," her statement read.

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"Every measure was taken to ensure the safety, comfort and well-being of the children on the film starting from the auditions through production to the present," Angelina Jolie has said.

The Vanity Fair interview is the actress' first after she ended her marriage to Brad Pitt, with whom she has six children. Eldest son Maddox is from Cambodia. In the interview, Angelina Jolie also revealed that she was recently diagnosed with Bell's palsy.
 

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