Angelina Jolie is opening up in a new interview with Vogue, revealing in its November 2023 cover story that she didn’t feel like herself and felt down “for a decade” after her contentious and tumultuous split from Brad Pitt in 2016 after 12 years together—but that her experience as a mother was a lifeline.
“I was 26 when I became a mother,” said Jolie (who has six children). “My entire life changed. Having children saved me—and taught me to be in this world differently. I think, recently, I would’ve gone under in a much darker way had I not wanted to live for them. They’re better than me, because you want your children to be.”
Jolie continued that it is her hope that she serves as a “safe place” for her children, “but I’m also the one that they laugh at—and I see them taking over so many different aspects of our family,” she said.
Jolie—who is currently producing a Broadway musical—admitted she feels “a bit down these days,” and said she hasn’t felt like herself for a decade, though she didn’t delve into why. “We had a lot of healing to do,” she said. “We’re still finding our footing.”
Jolie appears on the cover of Vogue “in a striking white strapless gown adorned with pink spray paint, using the platform to promote her new fashion venture, Atelier Jolie,” Entertainment Tonight reports. Of the brand, Jolie said “I don’t want to be a big fashion designer. I want to build a house for other people to become that. I’m hoping to change many aspects of my life. And this is the forward-facing me.”
Atelier Jolie is more than just a fashion label, but also a platform to empower women to embrace their vulnerability: “I want a woman to feel safe enough that she can be soft,” Jolie said. “After I went through something where I was hurt, I had a therapist ask if I would try wearing a flowing garment. Sounds silly, but I assumed that pants and boots projected a ‘tougher’ look, a stronger me…Now I wonder if…I don’t know what my style is, because I’m still understanding who I am at 48.”
After meeting on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith in 2005, Jolie and Pitt became one of Hollywood’s most famous couples, eventually marrying in 2014. Their marriage ended in 2016 “after an alleged altercation during a private flight with their children,” Entertainment Tonight reports. Pitt was accused of “choking and striking” their son, Maddox, although no charges were ever filed, and he denies the claims. Since their split, the two have been locked into a legal battle over custody of their children and ownership of a winery they once co-owned; in May 2021, they were granted joint custody, “but the decision was later overturned, leaving the matter unresolved to this day,” Entertainment Tonight reports.