Pune, Sep 30 (IANS) With Hollywood’s hottest stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt ready to touch Pune Sunday, residents can’t wait to see and know more of Jolie.
The visit has sparked renewed interest in Jolie who they describe as “a captivating but strange phenomenon”.
Residents of this pleasant city, home to the Film and Television Institute of India, the Armed Forces Medical College and many IT firms, are trying to form a clearer picture of Jolie, who arrives here Oct 1, from the scraps of information they have gleaned over the years. And the city is hoping to find out a lot more! Jolie is slated to spend six months filming a movie based on a book by Marianne Pearl, wife of slain Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl, on her husband.
But even with the planned press conferences and interviews there will always be more questions asked than answered when it comes to understanding Jolie.
John Thomas, a senior human resource executive at an IT company, says: “She is drop dead gorgeous. And if I was ever to see her I would get weak in my knees.”
One of her earliest directors called her “an extraordinary-looking creature, like some weird, undiscovered orchid”.
In films, one cannot help but notice that there is something raw, visceral and in-your-face attitude in her reactions. She seems to transcend boundaries, and people across all age groups are captivated by her.
But Jolie has been considered “weird” and not always from accounts in tabloids. When married to the much older actor, Billy Bob Thornton, she carried a vial of his blood around her neck.
As if this wasn’t weird enough, Robert, a postgraduate student of political science at Pune University, says: “I have heard stores like she cut herself on her hand and has a collection of knives at home. If all this is true then I wonder what more we will learn when she is here.”
This is not far from truth. Jolie in an interview had said, “You’re young, you’re drunk, you’re in bed, you have knives; shit happens.” She was talking about her marriage to Johnny Lee Miller.
By the time Jolie was 26 she had already had two heady and intense marriages; not counting other relationships like the live-in when she was 16 and then much later a publicised lesbian affair with actress Jenny Shimizu.
When getting married to Johnny Miller, Jolie had worn black leather pants and a white shirt with Miller’s name scrawled across the back in her own blood.
But Jolie seems to have mellowed and matured beautifully. For the past four years she has become more active in charity work getting involved with the UN, and drawing attention to children and refugees.
This is a surprising but welcome change.
Says Sheetal Mohol, a student in Ferguson College: “I am surprised that she went from a relationship with a much older and stranger man like Billy Bob Thornton to a seemingly more normal guy like Brad Pitt. It will be nice to see if this change in her will last.”
This seems to be more like the present day Jolie that people of Pune know of. Along with her much-publicised affair with Brad Pitt (who left popular actress Jennifer Aniston for her), people here also know of the children she has adopted.
Sosa, an 11-year-old at St. Mary’s School, says, “All I know of Jolie is that she has adopted two kids and one of her own. One I think is Cambodian and the other is from Ethiopia.”
Whatever the aura and intrigue that Jolie has generated over the years, Pune is hoping to find out a lot more about her. Six weeks seems to be good enough for that.