Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

“I've needed her”: Angelina Jolie opens up about her late mother in moving interview

Angelina Jolie and Marcheline Bertrand.jpg

Angelina Jolie has spoken out about how much she misses her mum, the late actor Marcheline Bertrand, in a candid and moving interview with her friend Marianne Pearl in Elle France.

“She would have thrived as a grandmother,” Jolie says of Bertrand, who died of breast cancer in 2007. “I know how much she would have contributed to their [her children’s] lives and I am sad they will miss out on that.”

The director and her estranged husband Brad Pitt have six kids together – Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 10, and 8-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.

The couple announced they were separating last September after 11 years together, and Jolie says she has really missed having her mum’s advice in recent months. 

“I would give anything for her to be with me at this time. I’ve needed her,” the 41-year-old says. “I talk to her often in my mind and try to think what she might say and how she might guide me.”

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie with her mum Marcheline Bertrand in 2001

Bertrand, who was French-American, raised Jolie and her brother Haven by herself, after divorcing Hollywood director Jon Voight when Jolie was still a toddler.

She spent 10 years battling breast cancer before succumbing to the illness 10 years ago, aged 56.

Four years ago, Jolie underwent a preventative double mastectomy after finding out that she had an 87% risk of contracting the disease.

“My mother fought cancer for almost a decade…,” she wrote in an article for the New York Timesannouncing why she courageously opted for surgery.

Read more: Angelina Jolie speaks out about her divorce from Brad Pitt

“She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was.

“We often speak of ‘Mommy’s mommy,’ and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us. They have asked if the same could happen to me. I have always told them not to worry, but the truth is I carry a ‘faulty’ gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.”

Jolie spoke of her relief that her children now “don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer”.

“The decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made,” she said.

Angelina Jolie and children

Angelina says her mum "would have thrived as a grandmother"

In a revealing interview with GQ Style last month, Pitt described his split from Jolie as a “huge generator for change”.

The actor said was undergoing therapy and had quit drinking, after a lifetime of alcohol and cannabis use.


Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in 2015

“I can’t remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn’t boozing or had a spliff, or something…,” he said.

“I’m really, really happy to be done with all of that. I mean, I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. But even this last year, you know – things I wasn’t dealing with. I was boozing too much.”

Read more:  Stylist meets Hollywood’s most multi-faceted woman, Angelina Jolie

The couple had been embroiled in a bitter custody dispute over their six children, that saw Pitt investigated and later cleared of a child abuse allegation.

The 53-year-old said he and Jolie had decided to put aside any sense of “vitriolic hatred”, and work together on sorting out their issues.

“It is the greatest gift and responsibility,” Jolie says of motherhood, in her latest interview. “It means doing everything that you can to live by your values and try to be an example to your children.”

Photos: Rex Features



Brad Pitt on his divorce from Angelina Jolie: “I was boozing too much”

cancer love what matters.JPG

This mother and daughter’s cancer battle is inspiring women everywhere


Angelina Jolie lands her first job since Brad Pitt split



The Dynasty reboot you've all been dreaming of is coming to Netflix

Big hair, big shoulder pads, big drama

by Nicola Colyer
23 Jun 2017

Lady Gaga just proved that she really isn't like the rest of us

Not your average hiking gear

by Nicola Colyer
23 Jun 2017

Bill Cosby will give talks on how to avoid sexual assault allegations

“They need to know... when they are doing certain things they shouldn’t be doing.”

by Amy Swales
23 Jun 2017

Everything we know about the Downton Abbey film so far

Next year, people. NEXT YEAR.

by Nicola Colyer
23 Jun 2017

White House responds to claims the Queen “snubbed” President Trump

But did the Queen really do this on purpose?

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jun 2017

Ellen DeGeneres catches audience member stealing, publicly shames her

Top tip? Don’t steal from Ellen DeGeneres

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jun 2017

Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick lined up for new thriller

"A feverish and expertly plotted tale of psychological suspense"

by Nicola Colyer
22 Jun 2017

We bloody love Kate Beckinsale’s hilarious Manspreading Action Plan

She knows exactly what to do when a man spreads his legs

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

This is what Amanda Knox’s Instagram account looks like

The Seattle native has made her feed public

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

Prince Harry is still haunted by memories of Princess Diana’s funeral

‘I don’t think any child should be asked to do what I did’

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017