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Interview: Angelina Jolie - I reserved graves so we'll always be together.. it meant a lot to Billy Bob; BIZARRE LOVE LIFE OF TOMB RAIDER STAR ANGELINA JOLIE.

Byline: JOHN HISCOCK in Los Angeles

SPENDING time with Angelina Jolie is like entering a frighteningly different world where anything goes. Hollywood's weirdest actress invited me to visit Angelina's Wonderland - an extraordinary place from which any semblance of normality is banned.

She grew up in Los Angeles, the daughter of screen veteran Jon Voight and French beauty Marcheline Bertrand. And today she represents everyone's idea of the classic California space cadet.

Her mother allowed Angelina to move her first boyfriend into her bed when she was just 14. After meeting British heart-throb Jonny Lee Miller on the set of one of her early movies, Hackers, she plunged into a whirlwind romance and married him.

Her bridal outfit was a pair of rubber pants and a white shirt with Jonny's name daubed across the back in blood. It lasted less than a year.

During the most bizarre couple of hours of my life, Angelina brought me up to date with all that has happened since then.

Unlike many of her Hollywood contemporaries, she does not spare me the details of her love life - even though her revelations include tales of self- mutilation and a penchant for violence during sex.

Now Angelina is married to actor Billy Bob Thornton, who is not known as the world's most ordinary guy.

We are chatting in a luxury suite in the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. The 26-year-old star is supposed to be telling me all about her new movie Tomb Raider - in which she plays the human version of video game character Lara Croft.

Instead, Angelina is busy getting me up to date on her gift to Billy Bob on their first wedding anniversary.

She bought her man his-'n'-hers graves in a cemetery so they can be buried next to each other. What else?

Looking surprised that I'm surprised, Angelina explains: "It may sound a bit weird to people, but it is very special for us."

She goes on to admit to having had affairs with both men and women.

She tells of how she wears a pendant containing drops of Billy Bob's blood around her neck.

And, explaining the attractions of self-mutilation, she declares: "You're young, you're drunk, you're in bed, you have knives, s**t happens."

This strange young woman lives by the motto "Try anything once". And her unconventional streak caused problems on the set of Tomb Raider.

BRITISH director Simon West found her wild ways hard to handle at times. He says: "She was definitely thinking she was Lara Croft after a while.

"She was totally fearless. I had to decide how much jeopardy I wanted to put her in and how much I wanted to beat her up.

"She was swinging on a moving log hanging 50ft off a concrete floor and she wanted to take the safety harness off. If she fell, she would be dead. I didn't need that."

Face-to-face, Angelina Jolie does not, at first, seem too daunting.

Wearing no make-up and dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, she looks about 16 as she skips into the room. Only her bee-stung lips and deep-set blue-green eyes hint at a darker inner depth.

"I'm having fun in my life now," she says with a happy smile. "I haven't had a lot of fun in the past. It's as if I've been like a caged animal most of my life and I'm finally out of the cage."

Devastatingly honest and eschewing all that celebrity privacy nonsense, Jolie talks willingly about her sexuality, her consuming love for her 45-year-old husband and some of the more outrageous stories about her.

"I've had a lot of unusual things in my life that have made me how I am," she explains matter-of-factly. "I lost my virginity when I was 14.

"He was my first boyfriend at the time I wanted to be promiscuous and was starting to be sexual. He was very sweet and we lived like a married couple for two years.

I GOT lucky. We were in my bedroom, in my environment, where I was most comfortable and I wasn't in danger.

"But by the time I was 16 I wanted to be alone and free. I was very young, but kids are doing a lot of weird things really young these days and they're getting very promiscuous."

She acknowledges that she once had a fascination with violence during sex which also manifested itself in mutilation - but that was before Billy Bob.

She says: "It was a need, but I feel enough for my husband now that I don't have the need. In the past, I never met anybody that loved enough, that wanted enough, that was crazy or open enough."

Their marriage in Las Vegas a year ago shocked their friends, because at the time the four-times-married Billy Bob was living with actress Laura Dern.

Most people predicted it would be over in weeks, but Angelina says their love just gets stronger.

"I'm so lucky," she says. "It's beautiful. I am honoured to be with him. He's just an amazing person. He's an amazing lover and he knows my body. He knows things that I don't know. We didn't belong any place until we met each other.

"Together, we understand each other completely. We feel safe because we're so honest with each other. We don't worry about anything. We protect and care for each other. He knows how much I love him."

On their anniversary last month she flew to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to visit him on the set of his latest film. And there they exchanged strange presents.

"We promised each other our love for ever in different ways," she says. "I'd called his mother to find out where a lot of his family are buried and I reserved plots there so that one day, when we die, we'll be next to each other.

"That meant a lot to him. It was my gift to him. He gave me a document witnessed by a lawyer that said he would be with me for ever. It's maybe a funny way of doing it, but we signed our life away to each other."

The amply-tattooed Angelina could not pass up the occasion for another body decoration. "We got matching tattoos," she says. "We woke up, stayed in our pyjamas and went and got tattoos."

For once, she doesn't want to divulge any more details.

"They are symbols that say something to us and they have letters in them," she whispers. "We both have them in the same place." She indicates the right side of her shapely body.

While she is not disturbed by the gossip about her and admits to having had an affair with a woman when she was 20, Angelina was deeply hurt by a widespread story that she was sexually involved with her brother Jamie.

The cruel rumours began after she kissed him on the lips at last year's Oscars and announced she loved him.

She says: "For some reason people thought it was more interesting to focus on something that was sick and disturbing rather than the fact that two siblings support and love each other.

UNFORTUNATELY, it has put a distance between us, because Jamie now feels he has to keep a space between us."

But she is closer than ever to her father, Oscar-winner Voight, who plays Lara's father in Tomb Raider.

"We are great friends," she says. "We'd be friends if we weren't related. We can talk for hours."

It is a tribute to Angelina's sensuality and acting prowess that in Tomb Raider Lara Croft has no boyfriend and does not even kiss anybody, and yet comes across as stunningly sexual.

"She's a bit like me," says Angelina proudly. "She is very feminine, very sensual, very loving, very emotional and a bit crazy - wild and strong.

"She has no sex and is never naked, but I think the fact she's a bit aggressive and free and wild makes her sexy."

Unlike Tomb Raider, Angelina's next film, Original Sin, has sex scenes in abundance. Her hot and heavy nude encounters with Antonio Banderas sparked more gossip and rumours, which she laughs off.

"We got to know each other quite well," she says. "He's like a strange brother. He's a sweetheart."

There is one more question I want to ask.

"Is there ANYTHING you haven't tried?"

She pauses. Finally, she confides: "I'm thinking about a house in the country."

Yeah. Right.


WILD: Angelina as Lara in Tomb Raider; LOVE TOKENS: She and Billy Bob have symbolic hidden tattoos
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 9, 2001
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