Angelina Jolie recently gave a juicy, tell-all interview to Vanity Fair in their latest issue on her divorce with Brad Pitt, her diagnosis of Bell’s palsy and life as a single mother. However, what’s caused a storm are none of those revelations as much as the creepy “game” that was used to find the child star for her new directorial venture, They Killed My Father. The film is a true account of surviving the Khmer Rouge as seen through the eyes of a child, based on the book by Loung Ung. It seems the movie’s crew members gave money to children (several who were orphans) before snatching it away and forcing them to explain why they had stolen it.
Writes Evgenia Peretz in the Vanity Fair article, “In order to find their lead, to play young Loung Ung, the casting directors set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away. The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie.
“‘Srey Moch (the girl ultimately chosen for the part) was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time,’ Jolie says. ‘When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back.’ Jolie then tears up. ‘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.’”
Facing a massive backlash in the media for this, the actress went on to dispute the account and claimed to be “misrepresented” – getting her lawyers involved to ensure damage control, but after reviewing the interview tapes Vanity Fair hit back by stating that they stood by their story.
By Farhad J. Dadyburjor, Mumbai