"I'm going to live my life," says the actress, who's unconcerned by what's said about her

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 21, 2007 05:35 PM

Angelina Jolie says her life is an open book.

“There’s nothing I have to hide or defend,” the actress, 31, tells Ann Curry in an interview scheduled to run Wednesday on both the Today show and Dateline NBC.

“I’m going to live my life,” Jolie continues. “There are going to be times when people want to try to attack me and I don’t know why, but they will. And that’s okay.

“There are other things I’m more concerned about. My kids are healthy. I have a lot I want to do in this world. I want to do a lot of things as a woman, as a mom, and that’s my focus.”

When it comes to herself, “I have always been honest about who I am, and I’ve always been very outspoken to press,” she says. “I think people have heard a lot from me over the years. … [If] people want to believe negative things, they will. … I can’t help that.

“At the end of the day,” she continues, “I’m going to be dead one day. And what people say about me is going to be what I accomplished and what I did in my life and how my children are.”

One of Jolie’s accomplishments is the new film A Mighty Heart, in which she plays Mariane Pearl, widow of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was killed by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002. The film was produced by Jolie’s partner, Brad Pitt.

Recalling her first meeting with Pearl, Jolie remembers wondering, “God, how is this woman physically dealing with trying to maintain her strength and take care of this baby that’s inside of her, working so hard and having so much emotional stress?”

Jolie says she’d thought it would be easy to play someone she knows, but instead, it “haunted” her: “The day before we started shooting, I hardly slept and I was in a panic.

“I had gotten to know her, and I’d gotten to know their son. And the thought that he would see this one day – it was my responsibility to not just show the world but also show him how much his mother loved his father and how much they loved each other and how they handled this time.”

Jolie and Pitt showed the film on Monday at the Cannes Film Festival in France.