Angelina Jolie has defended the casting process for her new movie ‘First They Killed My Father’, insisting that the welfare of the children involved was her highest priority.
The star was blasted after a recent Vanity Fair profile described how casting directors looked to Cambodian orphanages, circuses, and slum schools to find a child actor to play their lead, Loung Ung, and set up a game “disturbing in its realism” where money was put on a table and they were encouraged to think of what they needed it for before the cash was snatched away.
Angelina explained to the magazine: “Srey Moch [the girl ultimately chosen for the part] 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.”
However, Angelina, 42, who adopted her oldest son Maddox, 15, from Cambodia, has clarified the casting process and revealed that the game was a “pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film”.
She said in a statement to HuffPost: “Every measure was taken to ensure the safety, comfort and well-being of the children on the film starting from the auditions through production to the present. Parents, guardians, partner NGOs whose job it is to care for children, and medical doctors were always on hand every day, to ensure everyone had all they needed. And above all 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.
“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.
“The point of this film is to bring attention to the horrors children face in war, and to help fight to protect them.”
*Sourced by Bang Showbiz