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A few days ago, a profile came out on Angelina Jolie ahead of her new Netflix movie First They Killed My Father. In the story, Angelina Jolie described how her casting directors played an intense game with some of the children they hoped they would be able to cast in the film. The game was described as an intense game of make believe where money was put on a table, children were asked to think of what they would do with the money and then the money was taken away. Now Angelina Jolie has spoken out about the story, saying she doesn't feel it best represents what happened during the casting of First They Killed My Father.
Over the weekend, Angelina Jolie and her First They Killed My Father producing partner Rithy Panh produced a statement responding to the controversy, with Jolie noting,
I am upset that a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film, has been written about as if it was a real scenario. The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting. I would be outraged myself if this had happened.
While not outright stating the Vanity Fair profile was a lie, Jolie did express outrage that she felt the article intimated money was stolen from children who were auditioning for the movie. The original profile had said that the casting directors had used the money as part of a game, to pick out which children could act and which children didn't have as high of a capacity for make believe. Per the statement to ABC News, however, Jolie and her team stressed that a lot was done to make sure the children were safe on the set. Parents and even doctors were on the set,
[To] make sure that no one was in any way hurt by participating in the recreation of such a painful part of their country's history.
First They Killed My Father is based on a book of the same name published back in 2000. The plot follows a young woman named Loung Ung whose family was forced into hiding after Pol Pot invaded. Eventually, Ung became a child soldier in order to survive in the new order. The Khmer Rouge, which formed in 1968, is a major component in the story. It's a harrowing story, and Jolie and her team says they worked to make sure that the set was a safe place to be.
First They Killed My Father is heading to Netflix later this year, and is part of the subscription streaming service's move to produce original movies. The film hasn't produced even a trailer yet, and we've already heard quite a bit about the behind-the-scenes process. We'll likely learn more about the film in the coming months. For now, if you'd like to see what else Netflix has coming up, take a look at the full Netflix premiere schedule.