Photo Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage;Jim Smeal/WireImage
Angelina Jolie has never had what you would call a normal life. Long before the vial of Billy Bob Thornton's blood around her neck and even longer before the six kids with Brad Pitt, Jolie was the rebellious child of divorced actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. In the past, the Tourist actress has admitted that she lived with an older boyfriend -- in her mother's house! -- when she was just 14. Now that she's a mother herself, does Jolie think her own mother should have allowed her boyfriend to move in?
Absolutely, says Jolie -- because otherwise, she would have found a more dangerous way to rebel.
"It was the smartest thing my mother could have done because, this way, we weren't hanging out in a park together," Jolie, 36, tells U.K. newspaper the Sun. "We lived like a married couple for two years. By the time I was 16, I wanted my freedom and wanted to focus on work."
Thanks to her mother's unorthodox decision, says Jolie, she got dating out of her system -- and didn't do it again until she met future husband Jonny Lee Miller at 19.
More importantly, Jolie says that Bertrand -- who died of ovarian cancer at age 56 in 2007 -- taught her how to be a compassionate parent.
"My mom always made it clear that I was her friend -- and that is a lesson on how to bring up my own children," says the mother of Maddox, Zahara, Shiloh, Pax, Knox and Vivienne. "When we talked, I felt she wanted to hear what I had to say. She enjoyed me, and I feel I'm enjoying my kids.
"We play together, we dance," Jolie says of her own family. "Even though they're all from different backgrounds, they feel like they're part of the same family. My mum was my heroine. She was a generous, warm individual, who led a very private life but walked through it with kindness and grace."
Jolie says that she thinks of her mother often, because parenthood is the most challenging role she's ever had. "Once I became a mom, I realized it was far harder than being Lara Croft," she says, citing the Tomb Raider role for which she did rigorous training. "I want my kids to appreciate how fortunate they are in life, compared with so many people who have nothing.
"If anybody ever tells me that I am a mother to them like my mom was to me," she adds, "it will be a great compliment."
At the moment, Jolie and her family are in Scotland, staying in a 16th century mansion near where Pitt is filming the zombie blockbuster World War Z. The house has a 10-acre garden, where the kids have been spotted playing in the flower beds and fishing for trout with their parents. We think Marcheline would be quite proud.