Angelina Jolie on Keeping the Birthday Candles Handy

06/22/2009 at 09:00 AM ET

Paul Morigi/WireImage

In the Jolie-Pitt household, just as there is no shortage of children — there is no shortage of reasons to celebrate! During a Thursday interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper actress Angelina Jolie called the never-ending birthday party phenomenon she experiences with partner Brad Pitt “one of the great pleasures in life.”

“I do have the twins, and I just had Shi in May. We have so many kids that we just have year-round birthdays. It’s a lot of fun now ’cause the older kids are old enough to help plan the birthdays for the younger kids.”

Angelina conducted to the interview to help mark World Refugee Day, and she noted that some of her six children are from countries that have seen conflict. “I usually just explain to them that there are other families in the world that aren’t as fortunate as ours and other kids,” Angelina, 34, said. “And so I tell them that it’s important for all of us to do what we can and then go to these places and understand what’s happening.”

As a result, Maddox Chivan, 7 ½, Pax Thien, 5 ½, Zahara Marley, 4 ½, Shiloh Nouvel, 3, and twins Knox Léon and Vivienne Marcheline, 11 months, are being raised to think that humanitarianism is “the normal thing to do.” She adds,

“Hopefully I’ll take them to as many countries as I can and raise them with an education of the world.”

The actress has already set this plan in motion, allowing Maddox to accompany her to refugee camp visits in Pakistan and Afghanistan. “I want them to see it as an area where they can go down the street and play football with those kids and get to know them and, as they grow up, see them as friends they spend time with,” she explains. “I hope if I raise them with a more accurate view of the world than I was raised with, then they will naturally be better people.”

Source: Anderson Cooper 360; Today

— Missy

FILED UNDER: Multiples , News , Parenting

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Shannon on

I completely love her. Wonderful mother, wonderful humanitarian. It is great to see someone who feels it is so important to teach her children that there are people out there who are suffering, and that everyone, as human beings, should feel compelled to do all we can to help them. I know a lot of people look at Nicole Richie as someone who turned her life around after having a baby and that’s great, she did. But I prefer to use this woman as an example of that. She has truly gone from dark to light, and I wish her, Brad, and their beautifull family all the best now and in all the years to come.

Mel on

Say whatever you want about her (and Brad) but I love the part where she mention “education of the world” or somthing to that extent. Those kids are loved and well taken care of, thats all that matters.

Sofie on

I really admire the way her and Brad are raising their children. They are great role models for what is really important in this life.

Still Life in South America on

It’s a nice thought that Angelina and Brad will arm their children with an appreciation for the world’s less fortunate as well as (possibly) funds to make a difference.

I hope that they all turn out to be centered and reflective people. It must be hard as celebrity children.

Yaz on

Love you Ange.
Keep doing what you’re doing.

kayleesmom on

She seems like an amazing mother!

Bella Mama on

love this family..

Chelsea on

I love Angelina! She seems like a wonderful role model for her kids.

PS: I would love to sneak a peek at the twins again!

Nikki on

What a great role model for her children! I think it is important to appreciate how fortunate we are to live in a developed society where its safe (comparatively to other countries) and there is usually enough money (to live comfortably, again comparatively to other, poorer countries). The thing I would be aware of is to wait until children are ready before visiting and seeing some situations. That way, they are at little risk of being traumatised by what they see. It will only serve to make them better people in the future, which is the most important thing.
Good parenting Angelina!

Mimi on

Angelina is a good role model for all these up and coming actresses who think the best way to get attention is to act like a crazy slut. Angie now sees how much time she wasted being full of herself and wants to make sure her children aren’t raised like she was in a protected, self-indulgent culture. By being a UN embassador and adopting Maddox, her eyes were opened and she’s a whole different person now. I often sense she’s more than a little embarrassed by her old antics (vial of blood and all).

Maybe young actresses can emulate Angie’s example and skip over the trashy antics and just focus on what matters. Angie focuses on her family, helping others, and honing her acting skills so she’s not only a bankable but respected actress. It’s nice to see people transform themselves, but it’s too bad she had to go through so many growing pains to get where she’s at now. It can’t be fun to have your kids google you one day and see the craziness of your youth.

(LOVE- aJ ) on

I love Angie.
I like to see new pics of Knox and Viv.

Stella Bella on

Her goals as a mother sound very similar to mine.🙂

Kaley on

I love her, she seems like a great mom and humanitarian. Angelina Jolie and Audrey Hepburn are probably the two actresses I look up to the most.

P.S. When does she say, “I do have the twins, and I just had Shi in May?” I watched both interviews and I didn’t see that part.

Anon on

I don’t see how she’s “turned her life around”. She wasn’t on drugs, she wasn’t an attention whore, she was in her 20s. She’s grown up and is full control of the press. I too get the sense that shes a good parent, and I think its cool she sees the things that she didn’t learn until adulthood; and is trying to teach her kids that stuff now.

Amanda on

I think Angelina is raising her kids in a great way. Of course it’s important to be able to spell and count and so on but it is also important for children to be knowledgeable, understanding and compassionate of all people and that’s something that seems to be lacking in our world. I’m glad that Angelina is trying to teach her children these things when it would be far easier to molly-coddle them and raise them in the insular, self-indulgent world of Hollywood.

There’s a wonderful picture of Maddox at an Indian refugee camp in 2006. He’s sitting on a bare carpet with a few boys of a similar age to him, playing with toys that probably cost no more than a few dollars. And it struck me, even then, that Maddox was entirely comfortable with them and paid no heed to the stark differences between his, very privelidged life and the lives of refugee boys. Angelina should be proud, not only of him, but of herself.

L on

She’s definitely grown up and is planting a seed into her kids so that when they are older and wealthy they can continue her work…and then their kids will do the same…and their grandchildren…and so on and that is how little by little if we all do the same the world can become a better place.

And I am so proud that for once there are no negative comments.

Congrats Angie with all your success. I am mesmerized by your family.

Adore1 on

Kaley…..They showed that part on Showbiz tonite.

Annie on

“I don’t see how she’s “turned her life around”. She wasn’t on drugs, she wasn’t an attention whore, she was in her 20s.”
Not that it’s relevant, but she was on drugs. She has been open about her use of drugs, including heroin. As for attention whore, I’m not sure how you explain carrying a vial of blood around your neck, amongst other antics.

Look, I think what Angie does is great. However, there are many women around the world who dedicate their lives to this work and other types of human rights work, who don’t do this on a part-time (or recreational) basis. They are my heroes. Moreover, although speaking out for educational reform in the U.S. is not as sexy as hanging out in refugee camps in Pakistan, I’d like to see her turn advocacy work here as well. We’ve got human rights issues, too.

Anon on

Was she a drug addict? Having used drugs and being a drug addict aren’t the same thing. Personally, I didn’t see anything wrong with her carrying a vial of blood. People keep locks of hair. Who cares really? She was a wild child, and I don’t think that has changed much. It still doesn’t mean shes “turned her life around”. She wasn’t heading for disaster and steered her life in the other direction.

Everyone gets to choose what they want to advocate. I sincerely doubt that Angelina does it because its trendy or because its cool. That’s not what makes one go to developing countries and help the poor. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have donated millions of dollars to helping people here in the states post-hurricane katrina. They’ve donated money to build hospital wings for sick children.

Out of curiousity, are you a full-time humanitarian? Have you donated millions of dollars to help people around the world? Because part-time or not, I think most people would feel compelled to respect the things that Angelina has done. As opposed to saying she should do MORE. People should do what they feel to do.

I have loads of respect for Angelina Jolie and other humanitarians like her, full time or part time.

Anon on

I seem like a total fangirl haha, but seriously c’mon now.

Annie on

I am a full-time humanitarian, and I have donated a substantial portion of my salary, which obviously is not in the millions given my work, to charity. So, what is your point? I don’t mean to discount what she does for charity, but she is an actress, not a humanitarian. There are thousands of women in our community and around the world who do more for human rights. I don’t see the controversy in so saying. She did not give her life to helping others, like social workers, peacekeepers, or inner-city teachers. She gave her life to acting, and does this on occasion.

As for the drug abuse, she has stated that she has battled with drugs in the past, and she did not look with fondness for those years. She has said that she was wild and misunderstood and that is why she did some of the “crazy” (her own words) that she has done in the past. She also has spoken about her own turning point- shooting the film Beyond Borders. She, herself, has acknowledged that she has turned her life around, and I fail to see what is so controversial about acknowledging that she has changed her life for the better.

Everyone can choose what they advocate for, and I can choose to critique them about those choices. Brad and Angelina and separate people, and Brad has invested in the U.S., not Angelina. Brad has spoken out about certain domestic issues, not Angelina. And, she has made some comments about domestic policy that give me leave to seriously question her committment to human rights broadly, beyond the limited context of refugee humanitarian law.

Sanja on

Annie -I believe no one is disputing the fact that the ‘little’ people are the ones who do all the actual humanitarian work.

But, I also believe that no one can dispute that the celebrities and politicians are the ones who bring media attention (and with it money and other help) to certain causes. And weather we like it or not an average American or a Frenchman isn’t going to hear about refugees in say Chad (random example), but they will hear about Angelina Jolie (or Salma Hayek or George Clooney or Ben Affleck…)being there and if that makes only one person donate or decide to volunteer then I say bring it on Angie!

As a person from a country that’s been through a war recently and a former refugee I’m very grateful for all the attention Angelina and other celebrities bring to these causes for whatever reason they’re doing it!

Anon on

Two phrases annoy me ‘turn her life around’ and ‘over the moon’. I can’t take them.

Angelina Jolie is a humanitarian. Anyone who pushes social welfare and reform is a humanitarian. She’s a humanitarian and philanthropist. I feel like you’re trying to put an unnecessary divide between what humanitarian work she’s done and what ‘real’ humanitarians do. Of course there are people that have dedicated everyday of their lives to the cause and they should be celebrated. But to be super frank, part-time or not, recreational or not she’s brought attention to causes that these ‘full-time’ humanitarians aren’t able to do. And I know aid-workers who are grateful for that.

Also, Jolie has talked pretty extensively about post-katrina issues and they both have donated money. Pulling up articles would just be overkill. Like I said before, she can advocate for wherever she chooses, you can critique them but the question is why would you? I work and volunteer in India and Guyana, though I’m an American citizen. I choose to because neither country is in the position rectify the social issues that they have. America is far advanced in the issues that concern me. Considering most people do not care about reform in any country, I don’t think that anyone who wishes to dedicate their time to other should rebuked. Even if its just on cbb.

and I’ll leave it at that.

Malya's Mom on

For the person that said she doesn’t contribute in the Us she has Shcholarships that she gives out to kids that are not publicized i would post the article about her contributions to putting kids in need through shcool but that would be overkill as someone has said. she also advocates for Ovarian cancer(Its was her mom died from) again something that is not publicized liker her work for UNHCR she also just recently did something really sweet for the troops in washington: Here’s an account from a wouded soldiers wife Liz is the 26 year old wife of David Flowers, who was wounded when he stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan on May 11. He is currently being treated at Walter Reed in DC.

Liz has a blog. She has a post that describes one of the many things that Angie did while she was in DC this week.

I slept in while Mom and Granny spent time with Dave. He had PT at 1:30 and right before he scooted off one of the nurses told him to wait that a “distinguished guest” was about to arrive. It was Angelina Jolie! She spent about 20 minutes talking with Dave and taking pictures! Then after she left the liaison came around and handed out gift bags signed by her with a gift card to Best Buy worth $1,000!

So just because all of her work is not publicized does not mean she doesn’t support diff causes in the US. I think its a nice idea what she wants to teach her kids.

Annie on

Angelina and Brad have a beautiful family.

Malya's Mom on

I didn’t mean that post to come off as rude i just re-read it and it kinda does Lol. but i know alot of people may not know that stuff about her if your not a fan and because the media usually focuses on her work for the UN. Just wanted to list some of the US causes she advocates. Again sorry if that came off as rude.

Amanda on

“Moreover, although speaking out for educational reform in the U.S. is not as sexy as hanging out in refugee camps in Pakistan, I’d like to see her turn advocacy work here as well. We’ve got human rights issues, too.”

There is so much wrong with this statement, I don’t even know where to start. It really is a sad state of affairs when people think there is some kind of hierachy of help and wouldn’t you know; America is at the top. With all due respect, that is the kind of arrgoance in some Americans that a lot of people dislike.

And I can’t even begin to reconcile the idea of someone describing refugee camps as being sexy. It just boggles my mind that this is the mentality that some people have.

anna on

Annie, but you ARE discounting her as a humanitarian. What she does is the real definition. Traveling to dangerous countries and speaking on behalf of the less fortunate while spreading awareness and yes, giving her life to these causes. How you can dispute this makes me think you formed an opinion of her a long time ago and don’t want to give her any credit regardless. Giving to charity or being charitable is different and sounds more like what you do. She is, no doubt about it, an actress/humanitarian. You can be both, see Audrey Hepburn, Mia Farrow, etc. You also seem to have a problem with efforts outside the US and thats a shame. Did you ever think it was Angie that helped nudge Brad in the direction of giving back? Last I knew Brad wasnt involved with ANYTHING until he met Angie. To give Brad props and not Angelina is a little hypocrytical and suspect. If you are in fact a humanitarian you should be applauding her efforts even more. LOL, Why can’t you humanitarians support one another and get along? Negativity and “critiquing” will not help anything. Give the woman her props and quit nitpicking and being suspicious when you know her intentions are solid and her hearts in the right place. Lets not lose focus, thats what’s important. I can’t fathom why anyone would have a problem with her humanitarian work. She’s extraordinary and alright in my book!

anna on

Annie, everything about your comments screams hypocrisy. You need to keep the past in the past and focus on the good. Not even sure I believe you’re a humanitarian as you sound jealous, bitter and seem to be holding a grudge. Not at all gracious as a true humanitarian would be. You need to educate yourself about her, because you are way off base. You have no idea how much she does and gives in the US and abroad. You just want to hate on her for past discretions. You’re post is a bit confusing to those truly thankful for her work. And BTW, sexy and refugees don’t EVER belong in the same sentence. Pretty tacky for a humanitarian. If you feel the need to hate, go to the tabloid pages.

Marie on

Why can’t someone be an actress and a humanitarian? Why must they be only one thing? It’s not even as though Angelina Jolie is a full-time actress: she does it for a matter of months over the course of a year, not all the time and certainly not every day. It appears that she spends far more time doing humanitarian work.

Sure, we knew her as an actress first and that’s why she’s famous, because of the high profile of the films she’s made, but has no-one heard of career changes or doing more than one thing? Like acting and charity work. Or, in my case, writing and teaching, and that’s without going into detail on my work in Africa and with the UK’s Department for International Development.

In any case, you are either a humanitarian or you’re not. Your daily life and career might encompass more than one thing, but for anyone to claim some sort of monopoly on humanitarian work because they may be in the thick of things all the time actually undermines their position (as a humanitarian) and feels a little unnecessary.

Jamie on

Angelina Jolie has been involved with the UN for more than 10 years, so she has earned her respect for what she is doing. She did it long before some others, including George Clooney and others who are now a part of UN programs.

I also disagree with those that say that Brad was not involved before he met Angelina. Also untrue. He has been involved with Edward Norton on building homes greener homes for those in the US, he helped to found the ONE Campaign with Bono and a few others, has been to Africa twice representing the ONE campaign and has met Nelson Mandela, he has been politically involved for years as well, so don’t make the mistake of saying that he was made by someone else when he has done quite a bit on his own.

Both of them together and separately are doing quite a bit more than most, so please give props to both.

sunny on

Malya’s Mom, thank you for your bringing this blog

I slept in while Mom and Granny spent time with Dave. He had PT at 1:30 and right before he scooted off one of the nurses told him to wait that a “distinguished guest” was about to arrive. It was Angelina Jolie! She spent about 20 minutes talking with Dave and taking pictures! Then after she left the liaison came around and handed out gift bags signed by her with a gift card to Best Buy worth $1,000!

Last year Angie donated $500,000 for the US childen who lost their parents for Iraq war. Another $500,000 for Iraqi children who lost their parents for same war.
She also has been donating money for Cancer Reserch Center in US
since 2002( this is not reported by media. one of her fans is a medical researcher and found out in the organization’s report.)
We are seeing only a part of iceburg and we don’t know what was under water.

Annie, Beyond Borders is not what changed Angie’s life. It’s while shooting Tomb Raider(2000).Witnessing human crisis in war-torn Cambodia changed her life. She was involved with UNHCR later that year. In 2001 she visited refugee camps in Sierra Leone and another country for several weeks. Beyond Border was shot in 2002.

actualsize on

Look, I think what Angie does is great. However, there are many women around the world who dedicate their lives to this work and other types of human rights work, who don’t do this on a part-time (or recreational) basis. They are my heroes.

They are Angelina’s heroes, too. She says as much quite often. Have you read her notes about visiting refugee camps in several different continents? She makes a point to praise unconditionally the work of humanitarians who give up everything to live in the field, and draws a divide between herself and them. She’s not pretending to be anything more than what she is, yet still people criticize her.

Liv on

I love Angelina! I think she is doing a wonderful job.

holden on

Angelina is ALWAYS praising other humanitarians, the ones who devote everything to a cause. But the truth is that the people who ONLY spend their life doing that don’t make a lot of money and they need people like Angelina to not only donate money but get the cause out there so that other people are aware. Without people like her, supposedly a ‘fake’ humanitarian because she’s also an actress, a lot of people wouldn’t know about the troubles in different countries. She’s not a humanitarian who chose to be an actress, she’s an actress who chose to use her resources to be a humanitarian and influence others to do the same. And obviously it’s working, because now all the people that are reading this article know a little more about doing their part to help out the less fortunate. And that’s pretty amazing, if you ask me.

someday mom on

There’s so much she and Brad do that is never publicized. My sister lives in New Orleans and she says besides Make it Right the word around town is that the Jolie-Pitts have been quietly donating money to schools, community programs, and even individual families who have hit hard times. The money is donated anonymously but everyone pretty much knows where it’s coming from but the Jolie-Pitts REFUSE to even comment on it.

They are annual donors to a free community art park in Los Angeles. I think last year’s donation was $50,000 and again this was never publicized. Angelina has an annual scholarship program for Native American kids who live on reservations. This is her homage to her Canadian Native American roots. I can understand not being fan of her acting or whatever but to criticize the good she’s doing would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

arfy007 on

She is such an ispiring role model. I am in total awe of her.

Bobcat on

I really admire this family, and how Brad and Angelina are raising their children. Its sure great to see that these people, and the money that they have, are willing to help raise awarness of what really is happening in this world, and are also willing to try and make a difference. Raising their kids to think and feel the same way, is yet another point in their favor. Keep up the awesome job guys, you have alot of people supporting you on this journey.

yoco on

The 5 million dollars Brad use to start Make IT Right in New Orleans came from the Jolie- Pitt Foundation.Brad told Kevin Frazier Of ET that they are both involved, but obviously he is the spokesperson

drunkenatheist on


“There is so much wrong with this statement, I don’t even know where to start. It really is a sad state of affairs when people think there is some kind of hierachy of help and wouldn’t you know; America is at the top. With all due respect, that is the kind of arrgoance in some Americans that a lot of people dislike.”

Are you referring to the arrogance that compels many Americans to weigh in on matters all over the world? The type of arrogance that leads to the Iraq invasion or “peace-keeping” missions in places like Iran?

Seriously, if you can’t see the level of American arrogance that says “I’m American, therefore, I know what’s best for the whole damn world,” I don’t know what to tell you.

AJT on

Angelina and Brad are a force together. Bravo to both of them for all they have and will continue to do. I can see them both in politics in the future, not that far fetched. I love them together and will be rooting for them every step of the way. They are true humanitarians whether you like them or not. They deserve all the kudos and happiness along the way. As an adopted daughter of a humanitarian and a product of the Vietnam war…Thankyou Jolie-Pitts for caring, helping and being selfless. More celebrities need to follow suit.

alyssa on

I’m in complete awe of her. Angelina has got it all. Looks, talent, smarts and a heart. Love her! She is extraordinary inside and out. Actresses like her don’t come around often and we are blessed to have her represent the US. Anyone who thinks otherwise have their priorities all wrong. You may not like her for petty tabloid reasons but you can’t dislike what she is doing. Keep on Jolie-Pitts!

Celia on

I like her. She does good work and it would be so easy for her to sit on her duff and do nothing but look pretty. Instead she’s out there on the playing field giving it her all. She may not always succeed but at least she is making the attempt which is a heck of a lot more than most people do.

Annie on

This is not to question her intent, her work , her concern or her generousity – however, we must be careful not to idolize people like Angelina Jolie. The fact is that there are many people who do as much but do not publicize it. Secondly, there are many people who have a loving heart and would do the same if they had the financial ability to donate to these Third World cultures. We must not forget the many missionaries who give up their lives and live in these countries helping these people. To me , these are the real heros. Many of them contact diseases and die. I am not dismissing Jolie’s
work but I am not ready to compare her to Audrey Hepburn who actually spent part of her life in these countries helping and living with these unfortunate people in every day life.

cassie on

I hope that do a family photo shoot. It would be nice to see the twins now walking around. Well hope springs eternal I guess.

Ra on


There are people who publicize for publicity sake and in my opinion, I don’t think that’s what Angelina and Brad do. I believe they publicize to get others to do the same. She never sounds as if she’s bragging, she simply tells it like it is with her and her family. The interviewers ask these questions because she does do so much with her charity work. If I had more than enough money to support myself, I would love to be able to do the same.

rachelsun on

Thank you, Thank you! You guys made some very sensible and truthful posts about Ms. Jolie and her humanitarian endeavors. My brother also met her and she was the nicest person to him, a non-celebrity. It is obvious that this “Annie” has her own agenda and wnats to crtiticize just for the sake of criticizing and in no way shape or form is she a “humanitarian”. You guys are great, do your home work and wrote a respectful defense. That is why I enjoy coming to this blog because of the people like you.

sunny on

Annie wrote
Audrey Hepburn who actually spent part of her life in these countries helping and living with these unfortunate people in every day life.

I am Angie and Audrey fan. It seems your knowledge about them is half correct and half wrong. Have you ever read her biograpy ? Audrey started Uniceff work at age of 60 and passed away at 64. I think she visited Africa 7 times in 4 years. She never lived there. She was physically too delicate to live in those hot and dry and harsh climate. Only a few days visit caused her fatigue and she needed to rest at her home in Switzerland.
I respect Angie and Audrey but don’t worship them.
They draw my attention to issues in Africa and they drove me to support people there. Without them I didn’t care those people.

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