Running for office isn't out of the question for the 43-year-old Oscar winner and special envoy to the UN Refugee Agency

By Dave Quinn Phil Boucher
December 28, 2018 11:00 AM
Angelina Jolie and Justin Webb
BBC Radio 4 Today/Anna Gordon

Angelina Jolie isn’t ruling out a run for office.

On Friday, the 43-year-old Oscar winner and special envoy to the UN Refugee Agency appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today, where she was asked if she would ever consider a move to politics and a run for the White House.

“Honestly, if you asked me 20 years ago, I would’ve laughed,” Jolie told host Justin Webb. “I really don’t know. I always say I’ll go where I’m needed. I don’t know if I’m fit for politics… but then I’ve also joked that I don’t know if I have a skeleton left in my closet, so I’m pretty open and out there. I can take a lot on the chin, so that’s good.”

“I honestly will do whatever I think can really make change,” she added. “Right now, I am able to work with a UN agency that is the most in the field of all the UN agencies, to do a lot of work directly with the people in need. I’m also able to work with governments and I’m also able to work with militaries, and so I sit in a very interesting place of being able to get a lot done without a title and without it being about myself or my policies. So, for now, I’ll sit quiet.”

When Webb pressed Jolie on whether he could add her to the list of Democrats running for a presidential nomination, Jolie replied with a laugh and simply said, “Thank you.”

RELATED: Why Angelina Jolie Speaks to Her Kids About Sexual Violence: ‘This Is Not Just a Problem for Women’ 

Elsewhere on the program, Jolie — who was guest-editing Today‘s Christmastime program, which also included words from Desmond Tutu and interviews with leaders like NATO General Curtis Scaparrotti, the supreme allied commander in Europe, and Dr. Denis Mukwege — discussed her work with refugees and efforts to prevent sexual violence in war zones.

Asked what drove her from her “wild” days to her humanitarian work, Jolie admitted that she was “a bit of a young punk” and that activism is a form of rebellion.

“I loved the idea of fighting for something you believe in, however hard, and being brave in your life in your choices and doing something your own way,” she said.  “I don’t feel I’ve changed much at all in fact.”

Jolie later added, “Today there’s a lot of focus on people focussing on their selves — their needs, their opinions, their sculpted news — and maybe the new rebellion is to hold to your values and to understand policies and politics, and fight for your fellow man. Maybe that actually is the rebellion.”

RELATED: Angelina Jolie Travels to Jordan with Daughters Shiloh and Zahara to Meet with Syrian Refugees

Jolie also opened up about the rise of what she called “narrow nationalism” during President Donald Trump’s administration.

“I am a patriot, I’m an American and I’m proud to be an American, but I’m an internationalist and I love and value equally other countries and other people,” she said.

“It seems that a narrow nationalism, which is the only thing we’re really worried about, is when people are encouraged to believe that their problems are the only ones they should be worried about, and that other people’s rights are not their concern the same way,” she said. “To be a patriot is to be very proud of your country, and maybe even your country first in your heart, but you do not think that your country is better than [others or that ] people have more value than other people.”

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