The Casting Controversy Surrounding Angelina Jolie's First They Killed My Father Is Heating Up

angelina jolie in first they killed my father

Angelina Jolie's upcoming movie First They Killed My Father has been making headlines lately, and not just because Netflix released the trailer a few days ago. As part of a lengthy interview, Angelina Jolie talked about the intense process children who were potentially being cast in the movie went through. After the report broke, it went viral, with some being offended by the game that was reportedly played with the children auditioning for the movie. Angelina Jolie and her team also spoke out, noting that the way the auditions were portrayed was not actually what happened. However, things are heating up, as Vanity Fair has released the full transcript of what Angelina Jolie said during the initial interview. She said:

But it was very hard to find a little Loung. And so it was what they call a slum school. I don't think that's a very nice word for it, but a school for kids in very poor areas. And I think, I mean they didn't know. We just went in and---you just go in and do some auditions with the kids. And it's not really an audition with children. We had this game where it would be---and I wasn't there and they didn't know what they were really doing. They kind of said, 'Oh, a camera's coming up and we want to play a game with you.' And the game for that character was, 'We're going to put some money on the table. Think of something that you need that money for.' Sometimes it was money, sometimes it was a cookie. [Laughter] 'And then take it.' And then we would catch them. 'We're going to catch you, and we'd like you to try to lie that you didn't have it.'

Angelina Jolie then talked a bit more about the film's lead actress, Srey Moch, and her audition, noting,

So it was very interesting seeing the kids and how they would--some were very conscious of the camera. They were actually--there are so many talented kids in this country. But Srey Moch was the only child that stared at that money for a very, very long time before she picked it up, and then bravely, brazenly lying, like was trying to hide, but then she also kind of--

At the point above, the Vanity Fair interviewer asked if Jolie was talking about the young woman who is set to play Loung Ung in First They Killed My Father, which leads into the widespread quote Jolie definitely said about how Srey Moch pretended the money would be going for her grandfather's funeral as a part of the game. That quote, which we've seen prior, read:

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.

The initial reports discussed that the casting directors visited slum schools, which is confirmed by the new quotes. The report also said a game was played where money was put on the table, which is also confirmed with the quotes. The kids were asked to think of something they needed the money for and then take it. The casting people would then catch them and they were asked to lie about what they needed it for.

The new quotes do illuminate the fact that auditions with children are different than adults. Angelina Jolie and her team have been very vocal that the children on the set of First They Killed My Father were very safe. Whether or not this game was the best way to sign on young child actors is still a matter for debate. But we'll see the finished product when _First They Killed My Fathe_r is released later this year. Here's what else Netflix has coming up.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.