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Angelina Jolie has mostly stopped acting and spends more time behind the camera these days. She has a movie called First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers coming up, and she recently revealed how the film cast its young child lead, Sareum Srey Moch. The process was grueling and involved Angelina Jolie and her team giving poor kids in Cambodia money and then asking them to give that money back.
When casting for First They Killed My Father, the casting directors were told to look at "local orphanages" and "slum schools," etc to find children who would appear in the film, including main character Loung Ung. Jolie recently recounted that the casting directors rounded up a bunch of potential possibilities. One by one, they set up a game where they would put money on the table, asked the kids to think of something they needed it for and then take it. The director would then catch them and they'd be forced to lie about what they needed it for. Here's what happened with Srey Moch, according to Jolie...
Srey Moch was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time. When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back. When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn't have enough money for a nice funeral.
Since the movie wasn't hiring trained child actors, finding someone that could reach an emotional range was clearly important to Angelie Jolie, who also told Vanity Fair that the "connection to pain" was important for everyone who worked on the movie.
If First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers seems familiar to any of you readers, it's because the Netflix movie is going to be based on the book of the same name written by Loung Ung and published back in 2000. The book follows Ung who was the child of a government official and had a nice early childhood before Pol Pot came into play. After that, her family was forced into hiding and then split up. Loung Ung eventually became a child soldier to survive. The movie is likely to be harrowing, and Angelina Jolie is making it clear that the movie went to great lengths to make sure everything hit the right tone.
Netflix has been really pushing to make more original movies over the past couple of years, to varying degrees of success. Interestingly, the streaming service also made a deal for a movie with Angelina Jolie's ex Brad Pitt called War Machine, which came out on the streaming service just a few months ago. We'll have to wait and see where First They Killed my Father lands on the Netflix movie spectrum, but hopefully we won't have too long to wait. The movie is expected to hit Netflix sometime before the end of the year. To find out what else is hitting the schedule sooner, take a look at our full Netflix premiere schedule.