Angelina Jolie On Cnn With Wolf Blitzer

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Postby admin » Thu Oct 23, 2003 7:09 pm

BLITZER: Welcome back.

The United Nations is taking a cautious and heavily-armed step into a dangerous corner of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A humanitarian convoy accompanied by three dozen peacekeepers and two attack helicopters is trying to deliver 20 tons of relief supplies right now.

The part of the country they're trying to reach is controlled by gangs and militias. It's been virtually cut off from the outside world for years. War in the region is blamed for more than three million deaths, most from starvation and disease, many children dead as a result.

The actress Angelina Jolie has just signed on for two more years as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Her humanitarian work is mirrored in her latest movie "Beyond Borders" which revolves around the plight of the world's displaced people.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANGELINA JOLIE, UNHCR GOODWILL AMBASSADOR: If this shipment is harmed in any way your name will show up in a follow-up investigation.

BLITZER: In "Beyond Borders" Angelina Jolie plays Sarah Jordan, a socialite turned philanthropist. She meets a charismatic relief doctor and over the course of two decades their story of love and danger unfolds against a backdrop of humanitarian crisis. Jolie says the project opened her eyes.

JOLIE: I read the script five years ago and I was really moved by it but I knew nothing of its contents and so I got a bunch of books on every different organization and every different chapter of the U.N. and was stunned when I read about UNHCR and 20 million people displaced so I wanted to understand that and I went to Sierra Leone with them and it completely changed my life.

BLITZER: Jolie is the daughter of actor John Voight. Her parents separated when she was just a year old and she was raised by her mother in New York. She moved to Los Angeles while still in her teens and after a string of forgettable films began making a name for herself as an actress and a Hollywood bad girl.

JOLIE: Just one step and I'll jam this in my aorta. Go ahead.

BLITZER: Her career hit a new high in 2000 when she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "Girl Interrupted." That same year she married actor Billy Bob Thornton. It was her second marriage and his fifth. The marriage lasted two years.

All the while here interest in humanitarian work grew. In 2001, she was asked to become goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commission or refugees. Since then the single mother's visited hot spots around the world from South America to Africa to Asia where she adopted a Cambodian boy last year and now has a home.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: And tonight, Angelina Jolie will be honored for her humanitarian work. She'll be presented with the United Nations Correspondents Association Citizen of the World award. Angelina Jolie is joining us now live from the United Nations. Angelina thanks very much for joining us. Congratulations to you on this honor.

What does it mean to you to be given this award by the U.N. Correspondents Association?

ANGELINA JOLIE, UNHCR GOODWILL AMBASSADOR: Oh, God, it means so much. I've spent the last few years learning so much about the United Nations and working with them and seeing them in the field and I'm so aware of all that they do and I'm so proud to represent them and it means a lot that I do it right. And so this award means that I'm doing an OK job and they think it so that means a lot to me.

BLITZER: Well, what exactly does it mean to be a goodwill ambassador for the U.N.? What do you do?

JOLIE: I think in every different organization it might different. UNHCR is the organization that is with refugees so I spend a lot of time on borders meeting with people, meeting with families, understanding the situation, trying to bring awareness.

A lot of time just spending time with families but of just across the border and learning about why they did and what's happened to them and just being somebody that says that we haven't forgotten them and we care and people back home want to know your story so please tell me and that seems to mean a lot to them.

BLITZER: We see in your new movie "Beyond Borders" that opens up this weekend the intersection, if you will, of your two passions, making movies, being a film star but also your work for the U.N. Talk a little bit about that.

JOLIE: Oh, God, it was so nice to be. It was never meant to be related to anything I did but I'm so -- after reading the script the first time it did affect me so I'm just so happy that I got to learn about what's really happening in the world, what the world is really about. And, Hollywood is such a tiny, tiny part of what really exists in this world and what really matters so to do a film and to use what I know as an actor, to be able to bring attention to something that I think is so important that I think a lot of people do want to know about.

And especially to these people that really spend -- these real aid workers that spend every day in the field because they are our modern day heroes and we really should be paying more attention to them and to the people that are these survivors of war that these amazing people that they look after.

BLITZER: Angelina, what do you hope the people who go see this film they emerge with?

JOLIE: I hope that they just -- that they -- I had an awakening. I hope they have the same experience I did to realize that there's so much more in the world that they don't get on their headline news and that they maybe weren't taught school and it will inspire them to want to learn and to go on the Internet tonight and figure it out

Or to get a backpack on and travel or just make sure their children know about other peoples in the world and I just hope it inspires that just the beginning of people really educating themselves and seeing what they can do to help.

BLITZER: How frustrated, Angelina, are you that there are such awful things, especially in Africa but in Asia, South America, all over the world happening especially to young kids, millions of them and that we really don't pay much attention to that?

JOLIE: It makes me very angry. At first I was just shocked but the more I've seen, the more kids I've seen, the more women I've seen raped, the more child soldiers I've met I think we should all, you know, we can actually stop it.

I'm one of those people that didn't know how it could change or how you could make a difference but if it can be clear to me how you can prevent these things then it can be clear to anybody because I'm not an intellectual. I'm not a politician. I'm not somebody making these choices but I know that there are simple things that can be done to prevent these things from exploding.

And at the end of the day we need to give kids an option if, you know, to have real jobs or real education and if you don't have that how do you prevent them from getting into trouble or being in dangerous situations or hurting each other, picking up weapons? So, there's a lot that can be done before these things start to happen.

BLITZER: Angelina, we've seen some other actors and actresses make the transition from politics, from acting to politics, if you will, including the current governor-elect of California. You're passionate about this. You want to do something about this. You want to stay on and be a goodwill ambassador at the U.N. What about really getting involved and getting your hat into the political ring? JOLIE: I don't know. I don't know. I don't know how you see it. If I felt I could really make a difference and be useful I'd certainly consider it. I don't know if I'm aware enough yet, if I'm smart enough, if I've educated myself enough about all issues and I think that's really important if you really are going to make that transition.

So, we'll see but, you know, I do find myself speaking more and more about these things and wanting to do things but I don't know. I think I've got a little too much in my closet for that for a political life.

BLITZER: You know what I don't hear you turning, you know, rejecting it out of hand so let's just leave that open the possibility that Angelina Jolie some day may follow in the footsteps of Arnold Schwarzenegger and others and go into the world of politics.

JOLIE: Well, yes. I'm just going to stay with the U.N. for now and stay with the field officers and learning. So, I'm still the student.

BLITZER: All right, Angelina Jolie you're delightful. You're a great actress. Maybe we smell Academy Award 2 coming up but we'll see with your new film "Beyond Borders." Thanks very much and once again congratulations.

JOLIE: Thank you.

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