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Angelina Jolie Was “Nutso” Prepping For Maleficent, Would “Scream at Bushes” and Scare Her Kids

Angelina Jolie as Maleficent
Angelina Jolie said she went "nuts" to find her voice as Maleficent, and would "go outside and scream at bushes."

Angry Angie! As part of her preparation for Maleficent, Angelina Jolie said she had to bring her scary costume home to practice for her role as the “Mistress of All Evil” in the upcoming Disney thriller.

“I loved being Maleficent,” Jolie, 38, told Entertainment Weekly for its March 18 issue. “I was quite sad to put my staff down and put my horns away because somehow, she just lives in a different world,” the star said of her dark character. “But I did have to take my staff home to practice walking with it in my cloak, and then I would go outside and scream at the bushes to expand my voice and play with my voice. So, mom was a bit nutso for a period.”

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“Maleficent was always so elegant. She always was in control,” Jolie said of the titular villainess. “And to play her was difficult. I worked on my voice a lot. She’s bigger than me. She’s on a different level of performance that I have never done. She’s very still. She’s very sure of herself, but I couldn’t figure out her voice, I kept playing with these different types of British voices, making my voice darker and scarier.”

Ultimately, Jolie was able to find Maleficent’s voice in the most odd setting of all places — while giving her kids a bath! “I started making up other stories about Maleficent,” she shared. “And they weren’t really paying attention to me, as children often do. You can bore them to death, until I started to mess around with this playful [sing-songy] voice.”

How exactly would she describe it? “It gets very, very dark. But it had these colors. My kids started laughing. And that’s how I would rehearse my scenes. I would do it until my kids were somehow smiling or thought that was funny, because you have to do that and go there with her.”

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Jolie, in many ways, was inspired by her six kids — Maddox, 12, Pax, 10, Zahara, 9, Shiloh, 7, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 5 — from the moment she signed on to do the film. “Children have always been told she’s pure evil. And she is evil, but it’s not all she is, and it’s not fair that her story was left there,” Jolie explained.

“I told my kids I was playing Maleficent and they went ‘She’s so scary!’ and I said ‘Let me tell you the real story but you can’t tell anybody’ so I put them in the room and I told them the [film’s] story,” the mother of six recalled. The following day, Jolie heard daughter Shiloh defending Maleficent to a peer. “You don’t understand her!” the little one said. “I thought that’s the reason to do the film,” Jolie shared.

Although the kids defended Maleficent, they were still bothered by her costume. “It’s the [yellow] eyes that are the most frightening, and the horns,” Jolie dished. “And I do have pointy teeth in the back that you’ll see close up. There’s just something with the horns and the heels, so she’s very big.” The horns, however, caused awkward moments for Jolie. “It was pretty funny, because I kept on hitting my horns on things, the framing was very strange,” she shared.

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So how did her handsome fiance Brad Pitt react to his wife in costume? “I don’t know! You know, I never asked him,” Jolie admitted to EW. “He thinks she’s cool.”

angelina as Maleficent
“It’s the [yellow] eyes that are the most frightening, and the horns,” Angelina Jolie said of what part of her costume scared the Jolie-Pitt kids most. “And I do have pointy teeth in the back that you’ll see close up. There’s just something with the horns and the heels, so she’s very big.”

Along with mom, three of the Jolie-Pitt kids have roles in the film: Viv plays young Princess Aurora, while Pax and Zahara both play princes and princesses from foreign lands. “It was Pax and his teacher, who is Vietnamese, playing the Vietnamese Queen and Prince and then Zahara and her teacher playing the African or Nubian queen and princess. I love that christening scene so much and of course we’ve watched [Sleeping Beauty] at home as a family,” she said.

Maleficent is due out May 30.

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