Disney is putting a reboot spin on one of its classic villains this summer with the Sleeping Beauty origin story Maleficent, and in order to bring the right mix of sympathy and terror to the titular character, the studio knew it needed a fearless actress to take on the role. The Mouse House settled on Angelina Jolie to fill the shoes horns of the character, though in a new interview the actress admits she had a little apprehension herself. It was after she gathered her own kids around for story time and told them this new origin story for Maleficent that she became convinced it was a worthwhile endeavor, as the next day she overheard one of her children getting into a fight with another child, proclaiming he just “didn’t understand” Maleficent.
This tidbit and more were revealed in a recent interview with EW, along with a new image from the film that shows Jolie acting opposite her daughter Vivienne. Hit the jump to check out the image and for a couple of other highlights from the interview.
In speaking with EW for the magazine’s latest issue, Jolie said the goal of Maleficent wasn’t just to enjoy telling the Sleeping Beauty story from the villain’s point of view:
“The exercise wasn’t how can we have fun with a villain?” Jolie says. “It was: What turns people evil and vile and aggressive and cruel? What could have possibly happened to her?”
The actress went on to discuss how the film shows how Maleficent became misguided:
“When that character makes mistakes — which Maleficent does, and crosses many lines — you want them to be angry at her and concerned and confused and in the end, somehow understand something that they didn’t know before,”
Jolie also gets the chance to act opposite her daughter Vivienne in the film, but the casting actually came out of necessity rather than pure desire:
“We think it’s fun for our kids to have cameos and join us on set, but not to be actors. That’s not our goal for Brad and I at all,” Jolie says. “But the other 3- and 4-year-old [performers] wouldn’t come near me. It had to be a child that liked me and wasn’t afraid of my horns and my eyes and my claws. So it had to be Viv.”
Take a look at the new image below and read the full interview in the latest issue of EW. Maleficent opens in theaters on May 30th.