Is Angelina Jolie done with directing for now?
This season is rife with celebrities taking a turn in the director's chair. George Clooney helmed a drama ("The Ides of March"). So did Madonna ("W.E.") and Angelina Jolie ("In the Land of Blood and Honey").
But while Clooney and Madonna express a desire to direct again soon, don't expect a quick reprise from Jolie. The "Salt" star makes her directorial debut with this weekend's Balkan war drama. Jolie also wrote and produced the film, which was inspired by her goodwill missions to the region and for which she conducted extensive research with journalists and victims. But the A-lister will be very picky about what she directs next -- if she directs at all.
"I love political subject matter, international work where I learn about other countries and foreign affairs," Jolie told 24 Frames. "I don't know if I would be interested in directing something where I wasn’t forced to get a huge education."
In fact, she added, "I still am shy about the idea of whether I would ever do this again," citing the intensity of the workload and the responsibility.
"Blood and Honey" centers on a Bosnian Muslim woman named Ajla (Zana Marjanovic) and her Serbian army boyfriend Danijel (Goran Kostic). The two are together in 1991, before war breaks out in Bosnia, and then find themselves on opposite sides, with Danijel actually in charge of guarding the rape camp where Ajla is imprisoned.
Jolie said she has tentatively dipped into other potential filmmaking subjects. She acknowledged that she "half-wrote" a script about Afghanistan but said that nobody's read it. "I don't even think it's good," she said. "Maybe I'll dig it out, but I don't have the confidence yet to start even thinking in that way."
Jolie shot two versions of "Blood," in English and in Slavic languages, over a scant 41 days in Hungary and Bosnia. She tackled much of it on her own, though she did have veteran Hollywood producer Graham King and Bosnian producer Edin Sarkic in her corner. (More on the film in The Times shortly.)
Now that she's done, the celeb -- who, with six films between 2007 and 2010, has been plenty busy in recent years in front of the camera -- has a full acting plate again. She's expected to shoot a dramatic thriller directed by Luc Besson this spring, with a Ridley Scott project and potential Kay Scarpetta and Maleficent roles possibly not far behind.
Still, she said she didn’t miss performing this time around. "I loved not acting. I loved it," Jolie said. "When you get to shine the spotlight on someone who's doing the job 10 times better thanyou can imagine doing it yourself, it's great. It's like 'OK, I'm not needed here.'"
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Angelina Jolie directs the filming of her Balkan war movie "In the Land of Blood and Honey" in Esztergom, north of Budapest, Hungary. Credit: Ken Regan / Film District