The Moment That Transformed Angelina Jolie From Wild Child to Charitable UN Ambassador

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Angelina Jolie Marie Claire January 2012

In a new interview with Barry Koltnow of the OC Register, we finally learn about the moment that transformed Angelina Jolie from a drug-addicted wild child to the charitable UN ambassador we know her as today: a trip to Sierra Leone.

“About 11 years ago, I went to Sierra Leone for the first time,” she explained. “It was the first time I was in a war zone. I went to a refugee camp, and I was shell-shocked. Suddenly, the world changed for me. My understanding of the world changed. I never woke up again wanting to be self-destructive, self-possessed or self-pitying in any way. I realized that it was important to wake up every day feeling grateful for your family and for your opportunities.”

Jolie said that her Sierra Leone trip changed how she lived from that moment on. “Once you start to focus on living for others instead of yourself, then children will follow and you make a conscious decision to live life in a better way,” she added.

Read more from Angelina Jolie’s interview with Koltnow here. Were you surprised that she didn’t credit Brad Pitt for turning her life around?

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