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Body of Steel: Angelina Jolie Talks About Tigress in Kung Fu Panda 2

Back from being rejected as the Dragon Warrior, Angelina Jolie (The Tourist) is voicing once again the strongest among the Furious Five masters, Tigress. Thrilled of coming back to the project, Angelina talks about her experience on doing Kung Fu Panda and also kind to spare us some more tidbits about her life as an actress and a mother.

So how was it coming back to the character, any different, did you have like, I’m coming home feeling?
I think it was more fun the second time around that we all got to know each other and our characters already had history. So it was fun to kind of jump in and immediately start to play and we didn’t have much time off because you start doing them, they take so many years. We kind of jumped in right away and I love her, for me, Tigress is one of the best characters I’ve ever played, I love it, it’s a pleasure.

I’d like to know if the fact you have these six kids at home make you feel more interest in films like this, like Kung Fu Panda and also I would like to know, what do you think in general about second part?
Certainly anybody with children. But at the end of the day we’re all big kids and we all just wanna play and we all like to do these movies. You know, it’s a great deal of fun. But certainly, having my kids and we talked about them as being a bar, ‘cause they were from two to ten and we figured that this was a good group to get a gauge of whether or not the film was working when we brought them in. So, of course in so many ways, I did it for them and I’m excited for them to see it and for sequels I think, you know the trick of a sequel is you have to make it better than the first one and that’s a very, very hard thing to do, especially with one that was so successful and I think, our very, very talented Director pulled it off.

How do you deal both as an Actress and as a Parent with violence in movies in general to show to your children and how much is enough? How do you look at this film and find the balance of just enough violence, not too much for kids?
Well, I think one you have to know your children, ‘cause I think there are children that have a better understanding and are ready earlier than others. But for a film like this, I don’t see this as a film that’s too violent. I think this actually show, it’s actually quite the opposite because the strength, even in the final battle, it’s the inner peace and the way of kind of sending back somebody’s negative energy, is actually what wins against the kind of manic aggression and violence and war weapons. It’s the one that doesn’t want to use violence, but the one that chooses to kind of find a centre. So, you know, all my boys are in martial arts classes and it’s been a great way. Boys are boys and they have a certain kind of energy, naturally and it’s been wonderful to get them focussed on martial arts, to teach them about the discipline and the respect and the control of their own bodies. And I think, to ignore that that’s a part of humanity, of human beings and especially little boys, is wrong. So it’s to help guide them through it and help give them some assistance of, you know, what is a positive thing, what’s a good guy, who do you fight against if you need to and to try not to, certainly. But if you have to, to defend yourself.

I’d like to know, growing up, who were your own heroes of fiction, what were your own favourite children’s stories and can you tell us a little bit about why? What was it about certain stories that made an impression on you when you were at the age of the children who are going to see this movie?
This is always the one I can’t answer, you’re really good at it.

You said before that Tigress is one of the most interesting characters that you play. Why is it so and another question is, it’s developed the character this time. Has it anything to do with, that it’s a female Director?
I think it is an interesting question. I’m sure there is something to do that that, yes. I’m sure. We’ve never discussed it. I don’t think a man couldn’t have seen that, I think it was something though that, I thin the original Tigress, it was wonderful in that it was chosen that, one of the strongest leaders of the Furious Five was a woman. When I first saw the characters, I didn’t know if she was a boy or a girl but I wanted to play her, whoever she was, ‘cause I liked her and I was very excited that it was a girl and for my Daughters, for me, I thought it was great and then I think, you know, we talked a lot about the fact that Po has, actually for a male character, he has a lot of sensitivity and emotion and so it seems like a very nice balance that she’s kind of the harder one that needs to learn to be a bit more emotional and he’s the very emotional one that is getting tougher. Right, can I say that?

You play a lot of fighters, a lot of tough women, a lot of femme fatales. Are you a fighter? Where does that come from? You’re a tough customer on the screen, what’s the personal alter ego to that, if I may ask?
Well, certainly my alter ego is who I am 100%, which is a Mum who’s changing diapers and colouring all night long. So I’m sure I’m very, very soft. But no, I’ve always been somebody that’s been drawn to strong characters and I admire strong women, emotionally and physically, not just physically, just people that I feel are fighting for something. I have a sense of justice and injustice and it’s always been more that than just wanting to be tough and I’ve been very lucky that I came to my career at a time where women are being allowed these roles and have had such great opportunities for these types of characters.

Joining Angelina Jolie are, Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Seth Rogen, David Cross, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh and a lot more.  Directed by Jennifer Yuh, Kung Fu Panda 2 premieres on theaters today, (May 26) on both 3D and 2D format from United International Pictures Philippines.

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