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29/05/2014 13:02 BST | Updated 29/05/2014 13:59 BST

Angelina Jolie Tells HuffPostUK: 'Maleficent Taught Me More About Myself As A Woman'

Angelina Jolie is looking intense and thinking hard.

Having read of the huge commitment she put into the role of Maleficent - the horns alone took HOURS to get right - I've asked her what the reward was of such a role...

"I think I learned more about myself as a woman, which is a very odd thing to say about a horned fairy," she eventually reflects on her character, the evil witch whose curse on the young princess Aurora is at the centre of this epic Disney prequel to the legendary tale of 'Sleeping Beauty'.

angelina jolie

Angelina Jolie with Brad Pitt at the premiere of 'Maleficent' - which, she says, taught her more about being a woman

"Because she has something I think is an interesting thing," she goes on. "She was born full of a sense of justice and she was born good, and then she’s abused, and that turns her and makes her darker.

"And what she does with that, instead of rising above it, she goes to the worst side of her self and becomes vengeful and cruel and hurts innocent people, and then she has to face that and realise what she has become, and face this child that she has done this horrible thing to.

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Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, a character she admits she was nervous about playing

"So it’s a lot as a woman, a mother," she finishes. "She struggles with a lot of 'What am I?' It's about dealing with the choices you make."

This is all obviously deeply pertinent to Angelina, arguably the world's most famous mother of six. She's also one of the most publicly accomplished women of our age - Oscar, movie-star partner, charitable foundation, UNHCR brief - so it's deeply refreshing to hear her admit to nerves before taking on this role, which sees her as a gloriously over-the-top lovechild of Cruella De Ville and Alexis Colby, complete with digitally-planed cheekbones and scene-stealing bon mots...

"I’m not a theatre actress, I don’t perform comedies, and she has comedic lines, she needs to come across as very entertaining and that didn’t come easy to me," she admits. "I had to figure that out. It took a while to figure out how she should look and feel and sound.

"But I was emotional when I finished this script, I was very moved by it, which is going to surprise people. It’s still entertaining and dark and she makes the horrible choice to curse a child, but there is so much more to it."

On Angelina's recent trip to London, all the buzz was of a screen reunion between her and Brad, who famously fell in love on the set of 'Mr and Mrs Smith'. It's a secret project Angelina looks naturally enthused about, but is keen to play down... for now.

"It’s something I wrote about three years ago and something we’ve been sitting on and thinking about," she reveals, with a little 'Oh that old thing' type wave.

"I’ve been playing with the idea of it. It’s a little independent experiment. It’s about giving ourselves the freedom to just be artists, it’s an art film."

'Maleficent' is in cinemas now. 'Sleeping Beauty' is out on Disney Blu-ray, DVD and Download on Monday. Watch the trailers for both below...

Brad Pitt And Angelina Jolie

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