Angelina Jolie says the key to avoiding living “an empty life” comes down to finding a work/life balance.
“I think to be a balanced person, you have to find those things that you just purely enjoy,” the 42-year-old actress told Deadline Hollywood in an interview published Wednesday. “But, of course, if you aren’t participating in the bigger picture of life, and in being somehow useful, and you aren’t doing something and growing, then really, you’ll find you’re not very happy. Really, you’ll have quite an empty life.”
Jolie, who is producing Nora Twomey’s Oscar-nominated animated feature The Breadwinner, knows a lot about balance. She’s known for juggling her acting and directing career and role as mother to six children with her humanitarian work as a UN ambassador and eduction outreach as a visiting professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
“You have your creative, and you have your work, and every day of your life is going to be about somehow growing as a person,” the Maleficent star said. “Somehow feeling you can contribute to the extent that you can get tribute.”
“I tell my daughters, ‘What sets you apart is what you are willing to do for others,’ ” the Oscar-winning actress and activist said in Elle magazine’s March issue. “‘Anyone can put on a dress and makeup. It’s your mind that will define you. Find out who you are, what you think, and what you stand for. And fight for others to have those same freedoms. A life of service is worth living.’ ”
She added, “I think of how hard women fought to get us to where we are today. Everything counts, from the way you hold yourself in daily life and educate yourself on your own rights, to solidarity with other women around the world.”
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In January, Jolie took her two eldest daughters with her to meet Syrian refugees during a UNHCR trip to the Zataari refugee camp in Jordan.
There, they met with Syrians who fled the violence of the ongoing civil war in their country, including girls around Shiloh and Zahara’s ages who were part of the TIGER (These Inspiring Girls Enjoy Reading) project, which focuses on education and empowerment for refugees.