Playing a glam femme fatale opposite Johnny Depp in The Tourist was tough for Angelina Jolie after all those action heroines. Or so she tells Michele Manelis.
It's rare to see Oscar-winning movie star Angelina Jolie in a role where her legendary beauty is exploited. Like her real-life partner, Brad Pitt, she's usually hiding behind her remarkable good looks, taking on roles in which she's covered in battle scars - the likes of Salt, and performing macho stunts in roles such as Wanted, Mr and Mrs Smith, or the Tomb Raider franchise.
Considering the action roles she's evidently so fond of, it's a surprise to see her in an old-fashioned style movie like The Tourist, an old-school Cary Grant/Grace Kelly sort of movie, without the benefit of a Hitchcockian plot. However, when you have Jolie, a celebrated actress and philanthropist, and Johnny Depp, a heartthrob for all ages, details like plot and script are apparently that, merely details.
The relative newbie director, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others) seems to have fallen under the spell of Jolie and features many lingering shots of his leading lady sashaying her way through the cobbled streets of Venice and into the heart of Depp's "everyman", a timid maths professor.
It seems The Tourist is a vehicle which reacquaints Jolie with her feminine side.
The always-candid actress is in New York to promote the movie.
"It takes a long time to be a girl," she says, in all seriousness. "I had to learn patience on this set. I spent a lot of time in hair and makeup and did all these traditional 'girl' things you do to try to look good. There were many wardrobe fittings to make the clothes fit perfectly and be the right colour."
To hear Jolie speak about "trying" to look attractive is akin to hearing Donald Trump spouting cliches to the effect that money doesn't buy happiness.
"Well, in The Tourist, there was so much emphasis on style. It wasn't like Salt, where I was kind of androgynous. In this, I had to have the shoes match the bag, the nails were done every single day. And while it was fun for the first few weeks, I don't think I could sustain being that kind of high-maintenance woman. In my real life I hardly manage to brush my hair. I try to be low-maintenance so I can get up in the morning, get ready and do things with my kids. I don't want to take a lot of time."