Living Single

The truth about singles in our society.

Does Angelina Jolie Base Her Real Life on Corny Movie Quips?

Does Angelina Jolie really believe that Brad Pitt completes her?

Movie stars, of all people, should realize that most movies are make-believe. They are handed scripts to learn. Surely, they must roll their eyes at some of the lines they are asked to say.

Suppose you were a movie star who was also well-aware of the world beyond Hollywood - Angelina Jolie, for example. Wouldn't you be especially reluctant to restate the corniest of movie lines as an actual description of your own life?

Would Angelina Jolie say, in all seriousness, that Brad Pitt completes her? Wouldn't she be embarrassed to do so even if she actually did think it was true? Maybe not.

Discussing her partner with Vanity Fair, Jolie said that he "knows me completely, exactly as I am, every part of me. He loves me. The kids love me. They know all my flaws and all my oddities. And they accept them. And so I can feel complete." (I read the quote in the July 23, 2010 issue of The Week magazine.)

I've been thinking about that since reading fellow PT blogger Irene Levine's post, "Angelina: Is loneliness the price of success?" Dr. Levine had heard Jolie tell CNN's Sanjay Gupta, "I don't have a lot of friends that I talk to," and wondered why she had that void in her life.

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Maybe Jolie did not feel self-conscious about admitting to sharing stories of her humanitarian visits to disaster areas only with Brad Pitt and her older children. Maybe she thought there was nothing wrong with not having any friends. Maybe for her, at this point in her life, there actually isn't. But will she continue to feel the same way if her relationship with Pitt does not last?

In the movie A Mighty Heart, about the kidnapping and murder of journalist Danny Pearl, Jolie played the part of Pearl's wife Marianne. In real life, there was a person who was very important to Danny who was deleted from key scenes in the movie, probably to make wife Marianne's role seem even more dramatic. The person written out of the script was Asra Nomani, Danny's very close friend and fellow reporter at the Wall Street Journal. Did Jolie realize that a significant friend of Danny's got a Hollywood demotion? Did she think there was anything wrong with that, or did it inform her beliefs about how best to talk about, and to live, her own life?

As regular readers of Living Single can probably tell, I like writing about scientific research more than movie stars. But I have to admit, what the stars say influences far more people. Silver-screen celebrities can contribute to the making and breaking of singlism and matrimania. How telling if some of the people who are internalizing the Hollywood scripts are the stars themselves.

 

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., is author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. She is a visiting professor at UCSB.

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