Variety (July 2,1998) By Army Archerd.
GOOD MORNING: “We are definitely an example of the little movie that could,” says producer Meg Liberman. The “little movie” is the $14 million “Dancing About Architecture” starring (alphabetically) Gillian Anderson, Ellen Burstyn, Sean Connery, Anthony Edwards, Angelina Jolie, Jay Mohr, Ryan Phil-lippe, Dennis Quaid, Gena Rowlands, Jon Stewart and Madeleine Stowe. Liberman, produces with Willard Carroll (who’s also director-screenwriter) and Tom Wilhite; Paul Feldsher exec produces the Miramax-Intermedia Films-financed Hyperion pic. Miramax is so high on it, they plan the U.S. bow for Dec. 18, same way they bowed “Good Will Hunting” to vie for Oscar nomination recognition. The cast — working under “favored nations” for below-usual salaries (like Sean Connery’s!) — is a tribute to the script and to the schedule manipulation by Liberman, who got the pic completed in 41 days on 27 locations! As a sample of the cast’s camaraderie: when Jon Voight invited daughter Jolie to dinner on her birthday, she declined because of heavy scenes on the following day — so Voight came to the set and did lines with her! To further prove their equality, all the stars had trailers of the same size … Harvey Weinstein gave the script to Connery, who wanted to do the role because Rowlands was already set. With that duo signed — well, you see the results. Connery’s role is one in which he’s not been seen: a heroic man wed 40 years to a wife of his age. He’s tragic and comic, and the pic has a surprise ending in which all they above come together. Writer-director Carroll says, “Actually the screenplay is structured like a mystery, without a dead body.” How refreshing.
'GIA' TAPS ANGELINA JOLIE'S WILD SIDE (USA TODAY, January 29,1998) by Elizabeth Snead
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--Angelina Jolie grudgingly auditioned for Gia, HBO's runway-to-rehab biopic about '70's supermodel Gia Carangi, who died of AIDS at age 26.
"I didn't want to do it. I didn't want to go to that place," Jolie says. "And, probably because I didn't want the part, because I was scared of where it would take me, the producers knew I was right for it."
Carangi was openly lesbian before middle America was invited to Ellen's coming-out party and an addict before the fashion world dreamed up the catch phrase "heroin chic."
The role is a shocking departure from Jolie's biggest part, as Alabama first lady Cornelia Wallace (complete with beehive hairdo and Souther drawl) in TNT's George Wallace, which just earned her a Golden Globe Award.
Born in Los Angeles and raised in New York, Jolie, 22, is the daughter of actor Jon Voight. (He and her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, divorced when she was a baby.) She not only resembles the sensuoslipped model but also had a similarly wild youth of drugs and sexual experimentation.
The movie(premieres Saturday at 9p.m.Et/PT) shows Gia's rise in the superficial world of style and her downward spiral as drugs take over. Jolie brings tenderness and vulnerability to the rebel's role.
"I identified with her a lot. She's the closest character to me that I've ever played. But in an odd way, playing Gia has made it possible for me not to ever become her."
Jolie read Gia's journal for insight. "She had so much inside that no one knew, that quiet, private, itnense and brilliant side...Everyone just thought she was wild and pretty."
The nude scenes with Elizabeth Mitchell didn't faze her. Jolie says she's not gay but sometimes finds women attractive. "People keep asking, 'What it was like to sleep with a woman?' It was fine, it was nice, she was beautiful. What's the problem?"
Harder on her psyche were scenes of Gia wasting away. Jolie had her head shaved and Kaposi's sarcoma lesions (AIDS-related skin cancer) painted on her arms and legs.
"I really looked like I was dying...My makeup artist and hairdresser would try to cheer me up, but they'd look at me and just be devastated. Both haad lost many friends to AIDS, so it was hard for them to deal with."
Jolie knew she wanted to act when she was very young. When she was 12, she went to the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and did a few plays. "Then I stopped acting and had some regular teen-age years, so that I had a little more to build on when I went back."
She played a cyberbabe in the computer flick Hackers (1995) and an androgynous drifter in Foxfire (1996). Last year, Jolie was the lust interest of David Duchovny and Timothy Hutton in the post modern noir film Playing God.
Mature beyond her years, Jolie, like Carangi, likes to push the envelope of convention. At 20, she married British actor Jonny Lee Miller ("Sick Boy" in Danny Boyle's Trainspotting), whom she met while both were making Hackers.
Jolie's wedding attire: rubber pants and a white shirt with his name dribbled on it in her blood.
She has tattoos on her back and shoulders, but the Chinese dragon on her left arm draws the most attention. "If a director doesn't want me because he can't see past my tattoos, I don't want to work with him."
She considered covering her tattoos for the Golden Globes, then wound up parading them on national TV when she won.
"That was really cool. I was totally in shock. I felt like I crashed a party and someone gave me the OK to stay."
She's on good terms with papa Voight. (She dropped her last name to avoid cashing in.) She picked him out in the Gloves audience as she accepted her award, and the ended up at the same party. "Suddenly, he became My Dad, saying 'Are you sure you need another shot of tequila at 5 a.m?' I'm like, 'Dad, what are you doing here?' It was funny."
Being a hot young actress gives Jolie a greater understanding of Carangi, who became an instant celebrity.
"The difference is I have a job that isn't completely about my exterior. It's about my work, my mind and doing characters, speaking and talking. I'm able to let it all out and she couldn't."
After she finished Gia, the Rolling Stones cast Jolie as a stripper in their "Anybody Seen My Baby" video.
"Yeah, how much pressure is that? It was like Gia's revenge," says Jolie, laughing. "I can't dance at home. If someone was, like, 'Get up and dance for us,' I would giggle and fall on the floor.
"But I suddenly became...I don't know what. I just, like, went for it," Jolie says with a smile. "But I think Gia would have loved it."
ANGELINA JOLIE WARILY REGARDS RISING FAME By Gary Dretzka Chicago Tribune, Wednesday, September 4, 1996. Section 5, p.5
HOLLYWOOD—In this town, it isn't impossible for a young actress with good looks and talent to go from virtual obscurity one day to having her toenails painted by Timothy Hutton the next. Take Angelina Jolie, for example.
On this sun-soaked Southern California day, the 21-year-old actress is perched on the patio of an impossibly beautiful Hollywood Hills home—featured lst October in Architectural Digest—enjoying a view that stretches from downtown L.A. to the ocean. Surrounding her, alongside a diamond shaped swimming pool, are the cast and crew of the action thriller "Playing God."
Everyone's eyes are on Hutton, his hair dyed a villainous blond, as he attends to Jolie's feet. Meanwhile, David Duchovny, star of TV's "The X-Files" is emerging—for the 10th time—from the turquoise blue water with cameras rolling.
All the tall brunette has to do in this particular scene is look stunning in her copper colored bathing suit, Lolita sunglasses and wide brimmed chapeau. That, and avoid giggling as Hutton mangles the manicure.
After several takes, the director declares himself satisfied and calls for a lunch break. Jolie wraps herself up in full length white robe and is escorted to her air conditioned trailer.
With only a handful of obscure, low budget pictures—"Hackers," "Cyborg II," "Mr. Viril," among them—under her trim belt, Jolie seems to be enjoying the relative luxury accorded the stars of a big studio project.
"On a lot of the independent films I've been on, it's been so difficult to pull things together," she says, with a friendly laugh. "You're really rushed for time, and there's only one change of wardrobe. You have to be careful not to get a stain on it."
The setting for this day's labor on behalf of "Playing God" couldn't be more different than the Portland, Ore., middle class neighborhood featured in "Foxfire," which opens Friday. Nor could the character she plays.
Based on a Joyce Carol Oates novel set in the ‘50's the film is updated to the present and tells the story of a group of high school girls who form an alliance when confronted by a sexually abusive male teacher. Jolie's mysterious outsider character, Legs Sadovsky ("she's James Dean" says the director Annette Haywood Carter), appears out of nowhere to inspire the teens in several coming of age escapades, including an incident that leads to suspensions from school.
Produced by "Leaving Las Vegas" director Mike Figgis, "Foxfire" is an intimate film that could find an audience among open-minded teens. If nothing else, it's the kind of picture that will have audiences anxious to see more of Jolie, who dominates nearly every scene in which she appears.
"She's very beautiful and everybody will be clamoring for her," said Melanie Greene, co-producer of "Playing God." "She has the wisdom of an old soul...the grace and style of an older woman. You want to peel away the layers when you meet her."
Although only 21, Jolie is asked to play a 28 year old temptress opposite Duchovny and Hutton. By contrast, in "Foxfire" and the computer thriller "Hackers" her characters have been androgynous anti- establishment types.
"In the beginning we thought Angelina was too young...we didn't know how old she was." recalled Greene, who hadn't seen "Foxfire" before casting her. "Angelina was the last person we saw on the last day of auditions, and she was just awesome.
"The thing about Angelina is that you can't say she looks like anybody else...Audrey Hepburn, maybe," Greene says. But, sharp eyes might also detect an uncanny resemblance to another celebrated actor.
Her father is Academy Award winner Jon Voight, after all.
Although she consciously plays down that family tie (her parents separated when Jolie was very young), it won't take long before the media hype mill starts grinding away at it. Not that Jolie and her father aren't close, but her mother—former Marcheline Bertrand—has had more of influence on her career and, in fact, serves as her manager and publicist.
After just witnessing Jolie at her most glamorous on the pool side set of "Playing God," it requires taking a giant step backwards to recall the determined cyber-tomboy in "Hackers" and leathery drifter of "Foxfire." Although the film avoids nailing down her character's sexuality, early reviews of "Foxfire" describe Legs' attraction to other girls as being lesbian in nature.
"I saw Legs as being androgynous, but sexual in a very animal sort of way: free...fascinating, intriguing and touchy," she explains. "The connection isn't directly about sex. I could see her being around it or watching it, but she is very much by herself.
"When a group of women or guys get together or mix, and they're together a lot of time, there's a curiosity—especially at that age. You're coming into your own and figuring out what people around you are like."
Jolie allows that she didn't really expect "Foxfire" to be released, because she thought potential distributors would have trouble with its demographic niche or message, which could be perceived as being anti male. She denies being a feminist herself, but admits to being happy "Foxfire" was directed by a woman since the film deals with many gender-specific issues.
Maybe the business about not wanting to become a star has something to do with her experience as the daughter of someone whose career has ebbed and flowed constantly since he first exploded onto the mass consciousness as Joe Buck in "Midnight Cowboy."
"Nothing ever makes your life better," Jolie explains, in a way that almost sounds convincing to an outsider. "You don't suddenly have this great life and everything's easy. You have to stay within your craft.
"If you have enough people sitting around telling you you're wonderful, then you start believing you're fabulous," she adds, with a knowing grin. "Then someone tells you you stink and you believe that, too."
FIFTY OR SO FACTS ABOUT ANGELINA JOLIE
Udovitch, Mim. Women we love :Angelina Jolie. Esquire. v129 n2. Feb 1998. p. 72-73 (2 pages). Copyright Hearst Corp. 1998
A recent afternoon found her in a New York City coffee shop, discussing her role as the volatile, heroin-addicted lesbian supermodel Gia Carangi in HBO's biopic Gia. Her hair, which had been shaved for the scenes depicting Gia's death from AIDS in 1986, was still very short. She thinks she'll probably shave her head again someday, because she loved being bald; it made her feel stronger. Women kept wanting to touch it, and it became this very sexual thing, having no hair. This is not the first time she has been cast in a gender-preference-ambiguous part. In Foxfire, for example, she plays a stranger in town around whom a group of teen girls coalesce to take off their shirts and give each other tattoos. She believes that she gets these parts because she loves women, and not in a way that's superficial. She has noticed that while her sex scenes with men always get cut, her sex scenes with women always stay in.
Her manner as she recounted these details was intelligent and straightforward, but there was an air about her. That air suggested that, her straightforwardness notwithstanding, there were some thoughts orbiting around in her formerly bald head that you don't get to know about. Her name, translated from various Romance languages, forms the first three words of Curtis Lee's one and only Top Forty hit, which was produced by Phil Spector and rose to number seven in July of 1961, fourteen years before her birth. If you have a 1992 Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, you can look it up on page 272. If you don't, here's a hint for you: "Pretty Little Angel Eyes."
Her previous credits include Playing God and Hackers. She met her husbandJonny Lee Miller, while costarring with him in the latter, but she doesn't want to talk about her marriage. Her father is Jon voight, and he sometimes calls her Jellybean, for some reason. Her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, sometimes calls her Bunny. When she was younger, she had an obsessive crush on Mr. Spock. She has a mouth you can't take your eyes off, but her favorite feature is her forearms, the way the veins show and their shape. She always felt she looked like a Muppet. She's got a few tattoos herself.
Asked if she has any scars, she exhibits a recent one on her hand that she got being stupid with a knife on-set and a fainter one just below her jawline on the left side. I'm not really clear how she got this, except that it's from a boyfriend who cut her when she was about fourteen, but it wasn't bad, it was an experiment, and anyway, he has more scars than she does. Asked what kind of experiment, she says, "See? You're the one getting the subject back to sex." This seemed like a kind of oblique response. In fact, she's got more mystique than you generally expect to find in a young woman her age. However, you shouldn't think she's all about tattoos and knives and scars, although she did use to have a snake named Harry Dean Stanton. She's also mushy and really close to her mom and has poetry books and lace nightgowns and wants to cook and learn French. She likes and owns a lot of lingerie, but she doesn't always wear it. In a relationship, she wears ordinary underwear and saves the fancy stuff to cheer herself up. She fears being buried alive and becoming the kind of person who dresses her dog in clothes.
If she were going to place a personal ad, it would read, "Leave me alone." Or it might say, "Looking for a very secret, very straight night of reckless abandon to do all the things I've never done before. Shock me and keep it private." She is very left-handed, and this makes it difficult for her to use scissors. This may be why she collects knives and other kinds of bladed weapons. If she were going to be a bladed weapon, it would be this kind she read about once that has hooks in it that manipulate your opponent's blade and trick him into letting go of it. Her other hobby is learning to play the drums. She is studying film at NYU. She knows how to tango.
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