Angelina Jolie Talks ‘Maleficent’ With ‘Entertainment Weekly’ Magazine

"It’s not anti-princess ... [we're] looking at this epic woman."

In March of 2010 we learned that Angelina Jolie won the lead role of Sleeping Beauty villain Maleficent in the forthcoming live action Disney film of the same name. In March of this year, we learned that filming on Maleficent will begin in June. Today we get to hear from Angelina herself about the project in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly magazine and she assures us that her Maleficent will remain “horny”.

Angelina Jolie is getting a little horny. Okay, okay, okay — forgive that shamelessly provocative intro. We’re just talking about preparations for Jolie’s new role as the devilish Maleficent in an upcoming Disney film. “Wait until you see the horns,” she laughs. In a wide-ranging interview with EW, Jolie explains why a live-action film focusing on the villainous witch may be good for young viewers.

What’s next for you as an actor?
The next thing I’m doing is Maleficent for Disney. I start it in June, and it’s a really great script. I’m having a lot of fun. I’ve already got my horns fitted. My kids are very happy.

In this version, Sleeping Beauty is the nemesis instead of the good guy?
It’s not anti-princess, but it’s the first time they’re looking at this epic woman.

Is it sympathetic to her, or is she a straight-up villain?
It’s both. I hope in the end you see a woman who is capable of being many things, and just because she protects herself and is aggressive, it doesn’t mean she can’t have other [warmer] qualities. You have to figure out the puzzle of what she is.

So there are some redeeming qualities to Maleficent the witch?
It sounds really crazy to say that there will be something that’s good for young girls in this, because it sounds like you’re saying they should be a villain. [Maleficent] is actually a great person. But she’s not perfect. She’s far from perfect.

There’s a tradition of taking a classic character who is a villain and telling the story from his or her perspective. John Gardner did it with the 1971 novel Grendel, and more recently we got the witch’s story in Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, and the musical it inspired. We like it when the bad guy is deeper than we thought.
In general, it’s a very good message to say, “Let’s look at something from the other side.” But then also, what our challenge will be — and the script writer [The Lion King and Alice in Wonderland’s Linda Woolverton] has already cracked it — is not to simplify it, not to just reverse the story but tell a bigger story that doesn’t point the finger [at Princess Aurora] either. It doesn’t flip it.

Since it’s a Disney film, will this version of Maleficent be close to the one we know from their 1959 animated film?
We’re still figuring out the look. We’re experimenting with different things. But the horns are the horns — you can’t deny them. You have to have horns.

I love retellings of classic fairy tales where the villains turn out to be more heroic than the heroes. The story in Wicked is a very good example … so, too, is the short story Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman. He expertly retells the story of Snow White wherein the Queen is the good guy and Snow White is the monster. I don’t know that Maleficent will go quite that far but … it’s exciting wondering how they plan to retell the story. I’m on board. And I’m DYING to see what Angelina‘s Maleficent will look like … horns and all :)

PS: If you have 20 mins, I really implore you to read Gaiman‘s Snow, Glass, Apples HERE. It’s truly one of my favorite stories of all time.

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  1. Ben@pr

    I just read Gaiman’s Snow, Glass, Apples and I must say it really impressed me. Definitely not the sugar coated fairy tale. It’s really adult oriented but I loved it and really enjoyed it. Describes some things that really happens in real life. It’s dark and little bit graphic. If you are a fan of dark and twisted fairy tales re-telling, read it!!!

  2. Alyssa

    I remember when you posted Snow, Glass, Apples. It’s so damn good. I loved it. Just bookmarked it so I can read it again and again.

    Can’t wait to see Angie’s costume.

  3. Adele

    When I was a little girl watching Sleeping Beauty, I never questioned the Disney story. But when I got older and learned to look at it critically, I saw that the Queen’s character is powerful, well-educated (she can read and knows magic), and aggressive, but is portrayed as “bad”, while Sleeping Beauty, who is naive, innocent, & a helpless victim, is the more valued “good” character. It will be good for young girls if Angelina Jolie, as an empowered woman, challenges these roles and shows that sometimes its ok to be like the Queen.

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