The Tourist: Interview with star Angelina Jolie

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Angelina Jolie stars in "The Tourist," directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The film, which also stars Johnny Depp, is being released by Columbia Pictures on December 10.

Her character


Jolie plays Elise Ward, the paramour of the criminal Alexander Pearce, who has disappeared.  “There are a lot of people looking for him,” says Jolie.  “He’s stolen a lot of money from a gangster.  The gangster wants revenge – and his money back – and the British want him for the taxes on the money he stole.  Everyone’s looking for him, including Elise, who hasn’t seen him for a long time and isn’t quite sure when he’ll turn up again.”


“My character in this film is different than any other film,” says Jolie.  “Florian gave me very specific direction. My natural modern rhythm is quicker and harder.  At the beginning of the shoot, Florian’s note to me was to slow down, as Elise lives in a world of quiet luxury and elegance.”


Working with Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck


Jolie had been attracted to the project by the potential of the strong female character and by the chance to work with director Henckel von Donnersmarck, and to have him co-write the script. After a very early meeting, it was clear that the director and star were on the same page about the kind of movie they wanted to make.  “The Lives of Others is a beautiful, intelligent film, but also heavy,” says Jolie.  “When we met, he was very clear that he wanted to make a movie that was luxurious and fun, something that would be exciting for people to watch but didn’t take itself too seriously. It was a perfect match.”


“Florian is probably one of the most intelligent human beings I have ever met in my life,” Jolie continues.  “Come on: he speaks six languages.  When we shot in Paris he spoke French; when we shot in Italy, he spoke Italian.  And a couple of our stunt guys were Russian and he would speak to them in Russian.”


Seeing is believing


“When we were shooting inside the Doge Suite set, I spent the three days of shooting there thinking, ‘What an amazing hotel room.’  Then someone showed me that none of the walls were real, and that’s not real marble, it’s painted,” says Angelina Jolie.  “It was crafted so meticulously I couldn’t tell what was added on and what was adjusted.”