She’s been surrounded by her six children amid her messy divorce from Brad Pitt.
And Angelina Jolie has revealed that her brood are the best friends she could ever ask for in a candid interview with the New York Times.
The 42-year-old single mother reflected on the hardships she has faced over the course of her career, but explained that criticism and public perception has no bearing on her as she only cares about the opinion of her kids.
Angelina – who split from husband Brad in September last year – has children Maddox, 16, and Pax, 13, Shiloh, 11, Zahara, 12, as well as twins Knox and Vivienne, both nine. Speaking about the strength she found in her children, she explained that they have ‘helped’ and ‘stood by her’ in times of crisis.
She reasoned: ‘They’re the best friends I’ve ever had.’
The Oscar-winning actress admitted that they had been rallying around each other now more than ever in the wake of her separation. She explained: “None of it is easy. It’s very, very difficult, a very painful situation, and I just want my family healthy.”
With her family on her mind, she has no time to entertain the thoughts of others, as she reasoned that she never expected to be popular. Defiantly, she explained: “I never expect to be the one that everybody understands or likes and that’s O.K., because I know who I am, and the kids know who I am.”
Angelina continued her honest discussion about her and Brad’s children, telling PEOPLE that her focus is solely on the welfare of their six kids and even stopped work for a year to help them through the stress.
“Everything will be around the children,” she said. “I haven’t worked for over a year now because they needed me home. Everything was just stopped. I’m really sitting and talking with them because everything affects them. Every location, every type of project, I’m going to have to adjust it to however much they can handle.”
Admitting she’s a ‘little bit stronger’ following the split, Angelina added that her and the kids are ‘itching’ to travel after being on ‘lockdown’ following the break-up. She added: “I think they’re itching to get out in the world again. We’ve all been a bit in lockdown and going through some things. I think it would be good to get out there and play together.”
Her candid confession comes a month after she addressed the split in an in-depth interview for the September issue of Vanity Fair, on newsstands August 4. The director revealed that ‘things got bad’ between the two by summer of 2016, adding that ‘It’s just been the hardest time, and we’re just kind of coming up for air.’
After the filing, she took the kids and stayed in a rental until purchasing a $25 million mansion in Los Feliz, California; she moved in just four days before the Vanity Fair interview. The Salt star said the new house is ‘a big jump forward for us, and we’re all trying to do our best to heal as a family.’
On the time with her kids after the split, Angelina says she’s been trying to ‘be really good at just being a homemaker and picking up dog poop and cleaning dishes and reading bedtime stories.’
She said things between her and Brad got ‘bad’ last summer, however she ‘didn’t want to use that word’ and noted that ‘things became difficult.’ The relationship strain occurred in summer 2016 while First They Killed My Father was in post-production; Angelina directed and wrote the film, which takes place in Cambodia.
The Maleficent star and Brad were together for 12 years before they announced their split in September; the divorce has not yet been finalized. She is seeking sole custody of their children.
Just last month, divorce proceedings have stalled for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, friends of the stars claim. A new report by Us Weekly sees multiple sources claiming the former power couple, who had a very public and very bitter split in September 2016, have not moved forward with proceedings to end their marriage. One insider told the publication: ‘The divorce is off. They haven’t done anything to move it forward in several months and no one thinks they are ever going to.’
The reason given for the alleged stall is Brad coming clean about his boozing in an interview with GQ this past May. A friend of Jolie told Us Weekly that the commitment to self-improvement has struck a chord with the actress, who reportedly previously claimed she would consider taking Brad back ‘if he showed he was committed to raising a family’.
The source went on to add that Brad had ‘got sober to try and win her back’ and that the move to quit drinking was ‘all she ever wanted’.
Meanwhile, the insider claims: ‘Everyone thinks they are going to get back together. It wouldn’t be surprising if they announced that they’re calling [the split] off and trying to work things out.’
A source told DailyMail.com that the ‘divorce process has significantly slowed down but there has been no real change’. The insider claimed that the former couple ‘are getting along for the sake of their children’.