There she is, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt appearing opposite mother Angelina Jolie in the upcoming Maleficent. In the live-action re-interpretation of Sleeping Beauty, Jolie stars as the titular villainess with the intimidating headwear. Fifteen-year-old Elle Fanning was selected to co-star as the lovely but doomed Princess Aurora. And the five-year-old daughter of Jolie and Brad Pitt was cast to play the young(er) version of the soon to be sleeping princess. You might think it was nepotism on set, but actually Vivienne's casting turned out to be a matter of necessity.
EW, which provided the image above, spoke with Jolie and discovered that her transformation from red-carpet stunner to malevolent mistress of dark magic was so convincing that kids literally ran from her. Turns out the headdress, the cackle, and the claws were just too much for the would-be child stars who were up for the role. Says Jolie:
"The other 3- and 4-year-old [performers] wouldn’t come near me. It had to be a child that liked me and wasn’t afraid of my horns and my eyes and my claws. So it had to be Viv."
But these toddlers weren't the only ones freaked out by made-up Maleficent. Jolie also admitted her 10-year-old son Pax had his own moment of terror, explaining:
"When Pax saw me for the first time, he ran away and got upset — and I thought he was kidding, so I was pretending to chase him until I actually found him crying. I had to take off pieces [of the makeup] in front of him to show him it was all fake and not freak out so much."
Selling her kids on the movie itself is actually when Jolie realized why its story mattered. "I said, ‘Let me tell you the real story but you can’t tell anybody,’" she told EW. "The next day, I heard Shiloh getting into a fight with another kid, defending Maleficent, saying, ‘You don’t understand her!’ They got into a bit of an argument and I thought, that’s the reason to do the film."
Maleficent will mark Vivienne Jolie-Pitt's acting debut. However, she is not the only one from the Jolie-Pitt brood to appear in Maleficent. Pax and Zahara both served as background actors in the pivotal christening scene, where baby Aurora is cursed. Still, Jolie and Pitt aren't looking for their kids to follow in their footsteps. She insists, "We think it’s fun for our kids to have cameos and join us on set, but not to be actors. That’s not our goal for Brad and I at all."
Maleficent opens May 30th. Look for more on the film in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly.