Angelina Jolie Got In Trouble For The Way She Auditioned Children In The Film, First They Killed My Father

Fans of Angelina Jolie have been starved of her presence on screen this year. The decorated actress starred in two films last year: as Hannah Faber in Those Who Wish Me Dead and the immortal Thena in Marvel’s Eternals.

As things stand, the next confirmed big screen production starring Jolie is Kung Fu Panda 4. The animated martial arts comedy film is currently scheduled for release at some point in 2024, with the Mr. & Mrs. Smith star set to reprise her voice role as Master Tigress.

Jolie is also directing a new movie titled Without Blood, with Salma Hayek taking a leading role. The pair also worked together in Eternals. There is no release date set for this production as of yet, however.

Whether she is deliberately taking things slowly or not, Jolie’s impressive portfolio of work so far grants her the leeway to move at whatever pace she desires. The actress is now synonymous with top-level productions like Maleficent, Salt and The Tourist, all of which made hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.

Another major Angelina Jolie production is First They Killed My Father, which was released on Netflix in September 2017.

What Is The Premise Of First They Killed My Father?

The plot summary for First They Killed My Father on Rotten Tomatoes reads: “Loung Ung is 5 years old when the [Communist Party] Khmer Rouge assumes power over Cambodia in 1975.”

“They soon begin a four-year reign of terror and genocide in which nearly 2 million Cambodians die. Forced from her family’s home in Phnom Penh, Ung is trained as a child soldier while her six siblings are sent to labor camps,” the synopsis concludes.

The film is a biographical retelling of events, with Loung Ung herself co-writing the script with Angelina Jolie. The Cambodian American human rights activist had previously written a memoir of the same title in 2000, from which the movie was adapted.

The cast was made up mostly of Cambodian actors, and the dialogue almost exclusively in the Khmer language. As well as helping to write the script, Jolie was also one of the producers, alongside Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh, mostly known for his documentary work. Jolie’s son Maddox was also born in the country, and served as an executive producer.

Why Did Angelina Jolie Come Under Fire For The Audition Process Of First They Killed My Father?

A few months before the release of First They Killed My Father, Vanity Fair Magazine ran an extensive profile on Angelina Jolie, the movie, as well as the rest of her life and career at large. It was here that the director explained the audition process for the leading part of Loung Ung.

According to the report, the casting directors would put money on a table in front of the auditioning candidates. They would then ask them to think of a need that they could meet with that money, before then snatching it away.

A significant segment of the Cambodian population was living below the poverty line – and continues to do so today. As such, Jolie’s actions in auditioning kids from the Asian nation were publicly deemed as taunting the children. For this, the Hollywood A-lister found herself under significant fire.

In the end, the triumphant actress went by the name Srey Moch. “She was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time,” Jolie told Vanity Fair.

Angelina Jolie Wanted To Take A Break After First They Killed My Father

Around the same time that Angelina Jolie was working on the pre-production process for First They Killed My Father, her two-year marriage to Brad Pitt was falling apart. The couple had been together for a total of 12 years, and shared parenting for all their adopted and biological children, but did not walk down the aisle until 2014.

As she went through the motions of making the Loung Ung movie, Jolie knew that she wanted to take a breather afterwards. Her goal was to give priority focus to her family.

“I’m just wanting to make the proper breakfast and keep the house. That’s my passion,” Jolie said, explaining the things she intended to take on during her short hiatus. At the request of my kids, I’m taking cooking classes. As I go to sleep at night, I think, ‘Did I do a great job as a mom or was that an average day?”

After the release of the picture, Jolie finally returned as an actor to the big screen in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil in 2019.