|Jackson Lee-Tom Meinelt/Splash News Online|
When the time came to introduce twins Knox Léon and Vivienne Marcheline, 4 months, to their already burgeoning brood, Angelina Jolie and partner Brad Pitt credited an inclusive approach for their success. "It’s a matter of indulging the curiosity of the other children and making them feel part of the whole process," Angelina says in a new interview with the Herald Sun. To that end, older siblings Maddox Chivan, 7, Pax Thien, turning 5 this month, Zahara Marley, 3 ½ and Shiloh Nouvel, 2 help out their mom by preparing bottles and changing diapers as needed. "It all works," she explains. "Kids are great at adapting." While the rigors of raising and nursing twins has made life for Angelina "a little more stressful" than before, she is quick to point out that "it’s also so beautiful to be part of."
"Once you have three or four children, having a few more isn’t going to alter your lifestyle that much."
That can-do attitude and sunny outlook are a result of being grateful for what she has and "not worrying about the rest," Angelina says. Admitting that she "never really believed" she would find "this kind of happiness," Angelina asks: " How can I complain about anything when I wake up in the morning and I’m surrounded by so much love with Brad and our children and the feeling that comes from sharing my life with them?" The feeling is mutual. Of Brad, Angelina says,
"He’s just so happy and having twins is something neither of us ever expected and I think that makes it all the more special for us both. When I see how much love is in Brad’s eyes for the twins and for all our children — it’s a very moving experience for me."
Click ‘more’ to read about Angelina’s approach to answering the kids’ questions about adoption.
It was Brad’s bond with Maddox that convinced Angelina she was ready to build a family with the 44-year-old actor, something she describes as "a big step." Her first son was also first and foremost in her mind as she filmed Changeling, in which she plays a mom whose son has disappeared. "I just couldn’t shake the thought of him through the whole film," she says. "Because Maddox is my eldest and also because he says things that are similar to what the boy in the film says." Balancing a family of eight with a successful film career is possible, Angelina says, because she keeps the latter in perspective.
"I have a big, wonderful family and I get to travel and be creative with my films and that’s tremendously rewarding and satisfying…The publicity that comes with that is a reality of the business and it’s only the paparazzi that is really a bother sometimes when Brad and I are with our children."
Noting that "a family is a social unit in its own way and watching the children interact is part of your role as a mother," Angelina says that she and Brad are making an effort to teach the kids about all religions. They’re also open to answering questions on adoption, but Angelina admits that sometimes there are no easy answers.
"Like when my daughter, who’s African, wants her hair to look straight like mummy’s … and I look for a Barbie that’s African, and the African Barbie has straight hair! And you know, why has Disney never made a film with an African-American princess?"
Changeling is in theaters now.
Source: Herald Sun