In a recent profile on the actress, Vanity Fair depicted an audition exercise casting directors used with impoverished child actors while adapting Loung Ung‘s memoir about surviving the Khmer Rouge killings that claimed nearly two million Cambodians in the late 1970s, including her parents.
“In order to find their lead, to play young Loung Ung, the casting directors set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away,” Vanity Fair said. “The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie.”
In a statement to The Huffington Post, Jolie has refuted the claim.
“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,” said Jolie. “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.”
The actress added that “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.”
A source with knowledge of the movie’s casting process also told the outlet that the children were aware they were improvising a scene from the film and that no real money was involved.
In a behind-the-scenes video also released this week, the director, actress and activist explains how her deep connection to Cambodia and its people inspired her to help tell a painful story in the country’s recent history.
First They Killed My Father premieres on Netflix this September.
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.