RD: You seem equally committed to philanthropy. Do you truly donate a third of your income to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees?
Jolie: Not to the UNHCR. I was making a lot of money for something that is a pleasure and realizing how a third of that would end up doing a lot of good. I just don’t need that much. It’s a simple decision. And now Brad and I have started the Jolie-Pitt Foundation. The first thing we focused on was AIDS orphans around the world.
RD: There’s a saying that it’s not your job to fix the whole world; it’s your job to do your part. What’s your part?
Jolie: As my mom did, raise the kids with a lot of love and make sure they grow into the individuals they were born to be. Separate from that, I want to continue to educate myself. I’m trying to learn more about international law to understand why we don’t have better solutions for conflict — for dictators or aggressors that are hurting or raping children or using them as child soldiers. Why can’t we have an international community handle these things in a swift, efficient manner?
RD: You’ve said that A Mighty Heart is also a love story. Did Danny and Mariane Pearl’s partnership have parallels to yours with Brad?
Jolie: They are what we strive to be. They met with a common goal that was so noble. They dedicated their lives to studying other cultures and trying to make a better world through honest journalism. They clearly set each other on fire to do really wonderful things in the world.
RD: Is that true with you and Brad? It didn’t seem he had the passion to do the humanitarian work before you.
Jolie: I discovered a man who’s extremely thoughtful, intelligent and invested in many issues. He’s just more quiet in his way. I think that’s the reason I love him. If I’m curious about something, I put my boots on and I’ll go tomorrow. I’ve been too outspoken. He’s the person who methodically figures out what he believes in and how he’s going to handle something, then does it seamlessly.
RD: Between your kids, your careers and your causes, how do you and Brad carve out quality time together?
Jolie: Right now, that’s our problem! We hang out. We try to talk over the swing set. We’ll have a date night once everybody is settled.
RD: How about a date weekend?
Jolie: No. Especially now with Pax; he still gets scared if I’m gone more than a few hours. But we’ll get them occupied with a movie and popcorn and try to run off and lock the door for a bit.
RD: Do you and Brad ever have a conflict or a fight?
Jolie: Not really. We’ll get into issues about global events or something that was just on the news.
RD: The gossip is unrelenting. You’re fighting, you’re jealous, he’s going back to Jennifer. Does it get to you?
Jolie: Our first question is what paper is it in. The New York Times? If not, do we really need to worry?
RD: But at the Golden Globes, you seemed in a bad mood, and that was in The New York Times.
Jolie: Yeah. And that was when my mother was about to die. Others have said we were getting married. We are people who want a good newspaper and television report, so when it’s lies about us, it makes us wonder what else are they not double-checking.
RD: So have you and Brad thought about getting married?
Jolie: There’s no big conspiracy behind our decision not to. We’ve both been married before. Our focus when we got together was family, and we are legally bound to our children. That really seems to be the most important thing.
RD: You said you wanted a partner who would urge you to be better. Does Brad do that?
Jolie: He encourages the right things. If I’ve had a full day and just really been a hands-on mom, he’ll make a point to let me know that’s something he’s proud of. If I’m writing an Op-Ed, he’s the first person to want to read the drafts. I could be dressed up in the sexiest outfit for a photo shoot, and by his behavior, he’ll let me know that’s nice, but it’s nothing as sexy as when I’m home surrounded by the kids or reading books, educating myself. He slows me down to kind of get it right, to relax into the strength of my family and the love.