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Angelina Jolie says she and her family 'had to heal' after Brad Pitt split

Seven years after filing for divorce from Pitt, the busy Oscar winner says her six kids are "the closest people to me."
/ Source: TODAY

Angelina Jolie is opening up to WSJ. Magazine about how her life has changed since parting ways with ex-husband Brad Pitt.

Since she filed for divorce from her "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" co-star in 2016, Jolie has prioritized time at home with her six kids: Maddox, 22, Pax, 20, Zahara, 18, Shiloh, 17, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 15. 

“They are the closest people to me and my life, and they’re my close friends,” said Jolie. “We’re seven very different people, which is our strength.” 

Jolie deliberately cut back on acting — appearing in only five films in the past seven years — to spend time at home. “We had to heal,” she explained. “There are things we needed to heal from.”

Angelina Jolie with five of her children at the "Eternals" U.K. premiere.
Angelina Jolie poses with five of her six children (from left to right), Shiloh, Zahara, Vivienne, Maddox and Knox, at the London premiere of "Eternals" in 2021.Samir Hussein / WireImage

The Oscar winner, who worked with the United Nations on humanitarian causes for two decades, said she's also friends with several women who have seen "war and conflict" up close.

"There’s a reason people who have been through hardship are also much more honest and much more connected, and I am more relaxed with them,” she said.

The "Girl, Interrupted" star, who noted that she isn't dating anyone, also discussed the health issues she experienced during her and Pitt's final months together.

While filming 2019's "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," Jolie noticed that her voice had changed register since she first played the Disney character in 2014's "Maleficent."

“My body reacts very strongly to stress,” she explained. “My blood sugar goes up and down. I suddenly had Bell’s palsy six months before my divorce.”

Now, with her oldest child done with college and her youngest children in high school, Jolie's work schedule has been filling up again.

Jolie is currently shooting the film "Maria," about opera legend Maria Callas, and she's signed on to appear in several more films, including a third "Maleficent." She's also producing a Broadway musical based on S.E. Hinton's classic novel "The Outsiders," which opens next April.

This month, Jolie is venturing into a whole new kind of project when she opens Atelier Jolie, a sustainable clothing store housed in Jean-Michel Basquiat's former studio in New York City’s NoHo neighborhood.

People in Jolie's life have been surprised to hear that she's now designing clothes. “I’ve never been to a fashion show or Met Ball my entire life,” explained the actor, who noted that at least one of her kids teases her for her sartorial choices.

"My daughter jokes that I wear too many trench coats,” said Jolie, laughing. “It’s just like a hiding thing.”

Trench coats aside, the busy mom, who revealed in 2013 that she’d undergone a preventative double mastectomy to reduce her chances of developing breast cancer, told the publication that she's never been more comfortable with her body.

“It’s like I see my scars and my things, and I feel like I’ve lived," she explained. "And I’m having these big experiences, and I have this map of this complex body that’s changed over time."

“You and I both know," she added, "that a woman with a full life is very sexy."

Eventually, Jolie plans to leave Los Angeles and spend more time at her home in Cambodia. “It’s part of what happened after my divorce. I lost the ability to live and travel as freely. I will move when I can," she said.