Angelina Jolie gets frank about how divorce has really affected her career

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Hollie Richardson
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Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie has talked about how her divorce led her to make career sacrifices for her family.

Divorce is something that so many women find themselves navigating. In fact, 2019 statistics found that 42% of marriages end in divorce in the UK. 

Although many divorces are a positive and necessary step for both people involved, there’s no doubt that most separations are emotional and difficult to steer through, especially if children are involved. 

That’s why it’s often pretty reassuring to hear that nobody is immune from the difficulties that divorce can bring to families – even the rich and famous.

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Kelly Clarkson once discussed the therapy her children went through after her divorce. “It’s just one day when you’re like, ‘Wow, this has forever changed and it’s not just my heart has changed, there’s other little hearts, too,’ ” she said.

And Drew Barrymore recently opened up about intensity of divorce, saying: “I really did not take divorce well. I took it really hard.”

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And now, Oscar-winning actor Angelina Jolie has spoken frankly about how her divorce from Brad Pitt has really affected her career. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly about her new film, Those Who Wish Me Dead, Jolie talked about why she took a step back from directing in recent years. 

“I love directing, but I had a change in my family situation that’s not made it possible for me to direct for a few years,” she said. “I needed to just do shorter jobs and be home more, so I kind of went back to doing a few acting jobs. That’s really the truth of it.”

Angelina Jolie with her family on the red carpet.
Angelina Jolie with her family on the red carpet.

Although Jolie is undeniably in a much more privileged position than most of us, her experience proves just how divorce can take its toll on all families. 

Her words come after she opened up about the emotional resilience she has learned since starting divorce proceedings with Pitt in 2016. 

“I’m like everybody and… especially these last few years haven’t been the easiest, and I haven’t felt very strong,” Jolie told reporters from E! News in 2019. “There’s something when you’re not feeling very strong, where you push yourself.”

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Referring to her role in Maleficent, she added: “I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity to play these kind of characters, that pull out every bit of strength I have and that remind me that I can be strong.”

The real power is, arguably, being totally real and honest about the things that so many people going through divorce experience, but perhaps don’t feel they can say out loud. The realisation that even a Hollywood star as big as Jolie needs to make career sacrifices because she is a single mum will perhaps be of some reassurance.  

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…