US Politics

Actress Angelina Jolie hints at a career change – as a politician

  • The Oscar-winning actress says she will go where she is needed
PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 December, 2018, 10:56pm
UPDATED : Friday, 28 December, 2018, 11:37pm

Angelina Jolie hinted on Friday that she might one day enter politics, as she urged global leaders to do more to help refugees and women in conflict.

Asked whether she was moving towards a political career, the Hollywood star, an envoy for the United Nations’ refugee agency who has also campaigned on sexual violence against women, said she would “go where I’m needed”.

“If you asked me 20 years ago, I would’ve laughed,” she said in an interview with the BBC. “I don’t know if I’m fit for politics, but then I’ve also joked that I don’t know if I have a skeleton left in my closet.”

Jolie said that her work with the UN and other organisations enabled her to “get a lot done without a title”, but did not rule out a future switch.

“I honestly will do whatever I think can really make change and right now, I am able to work with a UN agency … to do a lot of work directly with the people in need,” she said.

“I’m also able to work with governments and I’m also able to work with militaries. And so I sit in a very interesting place of being able to get a lot done without a title and without it being about myself or my policies. So for now I’ll sit quiet.”

The Oscar-winning actress has in recent years visited refugee camps to highlight the plight of those uprooted by war, and broadened her international efforts to protect women, working with Nato and governments to help stop the use of rape as a weapon of war.

With 68.5 million people uprooted globally, Jolie said that more needed to be done to support refugees and host communities in developing countries.

I don’t know if I’m fit for politics, but then I’ve also joked that I don’t know if I have a skeleton left in my closet
Angelina Jolie

“The focus should be what is happening to these people? Why is this happening? How do we have this many people uprooted and what are the causes?” Jolie said.

UN members earlier this month adopted a deal aimed at improving the way the world copes with rising migration.

The non-binding pact, meant to foster cooperation on migration, was agreed in July by all 193 UN member states except the United States, but only 164 formally signed it at the meeting.

“This should not be seen as a headache for people. This is how we need our leaders to be thinking about balancing our world,” she added.

Jolie, a mother of six who last year released her film First They Killed My Father about Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime, launched the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative in 2012 with the former British foreign minister William Hague.

Nato agreed in January to report on sexual violence in war to help bring perpetrators to justice and to challenge the assumption that rape is an unavoidable element of conflict.

‘They’re heroes’: Angelina Jolie honours survivors of sexual violence under Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge

But there have been questions over the effectiveness of the initiative, especially in light of the mass rape of Rohingya women in Myanmar during a crackdown that forced 720,000 refugees to flee to Bangladesh.

Interviewed on BBC Radio’s Today programme, which she guest-edited, Jolie said that the campaign had made a difference.

“I have met victims who finally got reparations when they didn’t have them before,” she said. “When there are prosecutions and when there is accountability, we will see a real change.”