Playing her good friend Mariane Pearl on-screen in the new movie A Mighty Heart was a daunting enough challenge for Angelina Jolie, but accurately depicting the horror of what befell Mariane after her journalist husband Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and ultimately murdered in 2002 was beyond difficult. To give proper depth to Mariane’s sorrow Angelina says she drew inspiration from her own life experiences and memories, particularly those provided by her children.
Many people know this story and they forget that Mariane was five-and-a-half months pregnant at the time (of the abduction). I remember being six-months-pregnant and thinking ‘I can’t imagine at this time not having the father with me.’
Mariane — who authored A Mighty Heart — dedicated the book to her son Adam, born three months after his father’s death and now nearly 5-years-old. It was Mariane’s courage and refusal to give herself over to hatred, for the sake of her child, which struck a chord with Angelina.
As a mother it just made me so much more connected to her and also knowing that carrying that life inside, that little boy that’s half Danny’s, that is so amazing…She is a very compassionate, thoughtful person who looks to dialog to change things, to make things better. That is, I think, a lesson to all of us.
Angelina and partner Brad Pitt are parents to four children; Maddox, 5, Pax, 3, Zahara, 2 and Shiloh, turning 1-year-old next week. The family is currently in Cannes, France at the 60th Annual Cannes Film Festival in order to promote A Mighty Heart.