Angelina Jolie is opening up about life after her split from Brad Pitt.
In a new interview with the Sunday Telegraph, the 42-year-old star — who filed for divorce from Pitt last year after a 12-year relationship and two-year marriage — admits that the process has taken a heavy emotional toll on her.
“Sometimes maybe it appears I am pulling it all together,” she says. “But really I am just trying to get through my days.”
“I don’t enjoy being single,” she adds. “It’s not something I wanted. There’s nothing nice about it. It’s just hard.”
Jolie, who underwent a preventive double mastectomy in 2013, had her ovaries removed in 2015 and last year, in addition to hypertension, developed Bell’s Palsy, says her health issues have also been weighing on her.
“Emotionally it’s been a very difficult year,” she says. “And I have some other health issues. So my health is something I have to monitor.”
“I feel sometimes that my body has taken a hit, but I try to laugh as much as possible,” she adds. “We tend to get so stressed that our children feel our stress when they need to feel our joy. Even if you are going through chemo, you need to find the ability to love and laugh. It may sound like a postcard, but it’s true.”
The film is an adaptation of Loung Ung‘s 2000 memoir of the Khmer Rouge genocide, which was responsible for the class-driven murders of millions of Cambodians between 1975 and 1978. The story holds a special significance for Jolie and her eldest son Maddox, now 16, whom she adopted in Cambodia when he was three months old.
“Mad has known of Loung’s story his whole life, and I told him, ‘One day, son, you will be ready and you will tell me it’s time to go deeply into your country. But I need your help and you have to work and you have to be there every day and you can’t say no and that you are tired,’ ” Jolie recalls. “And one day he said, ‘I am ready.’ ”
Now, Jolie says she has no immediate plans for either acting or directing — but instead is focusing on life at home with her six children.
“I am going to cooking classes,” she says. “Cooking is one of those things you do when you are settled in your life and you can take the time. But somehow I am just very impatient and I am a little bit erratic.”
“But I am getting into it now,” she adds. “I feel like, if I cook, the kids can all hang out. Although they often take over and tell me that they can do it better.”
And kitchen skills aside, Jolie admits there is more she wants to work on.
“I think now I need to rediscover a little bit of the old me,” she says. “I think we lose our way a bit. I have had a lot happen in my life, from certain people passing to health issues to raising the children. And it’s been a very good time to absorb and develop and grow.”
“But maybe now that my kids are growing up I am starting to realize that my own sense of play has been put on hold for a while,” she continues. “And maybe them hitting their teens is going to bring out a little more fun in Mom. So maybe I am going back. It may be time.”