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Angelina Jolie: "I Feel Complete" With Brad Pitt and Kids

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Angelina Jolie sat down with Parade Magazine and answered the burning questions we were all dying to ask but never had the opportunity. Jolie spoke about everything from her home life with Brad Pitt and their children to her late mother, a rebellious youth, and run-ins with the paparazzi.

Here are some highlights from PARADE’s cover story.

Are the children the reason you and Brad stay together?:

The children certainly tie us together, but a relationship won’t hold if it’s only about the kids. You also must be really interested in each other and have a really, really wonderful, exciting time together. We do. Brad and I love being together. We enjoy it. We need it, and we always find that special time. We stay connected. We talk about it. It’s very important. If Brad and I are strong and happy, then our kids have happy parents, and that’s the best thing we can give them.” She adds, “Brad knows me completely, exactly as I am, every part of me. He loves me. The kids love me. They know all my flaws and all my oddities. And they accept them. And so I can feel complete.”

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On knowing love…

I feel sad for someone who has never known love. Love elevates. You know, Brad would joke about me having this conversation about love. Love? It’s such a funny word. Brad can find certain phrases of poetry for it. I’m terrible at it. But I know it means wanting the best for the people you love, putting their interests above your own, always. Love does that. Love is what you live for.”

On her rebellious past…

I used to cut myself or jump out of airplanes, trying to find something new to push up against because sometimes everything else felt too easy. I was searching for something deeper, something more. I tried everything. I always felt caged, closed in, like I was punching at things that weren’t there. I always had too much energy for the room I was in.”

On her early roles in Hollywood…

I went through a period when I felt my film characters were having more fun than I was. It might partly explain why I ended up tattooed or doing certain extreme things in my life.” She points out an inscription on her arm, one of her 13 tattoos. “The wild heart caged. I unlocked my cage years ago. I want my children to have that freedom. I want that for other people, too.”

On the unrelenting media circus, the paparazzi…

We do everything we can to keep our kids away from it. We travel to places where the kids aren’t aware of that kind of thing. We try to give them a full life where they don’t have to come face to face with that world. With the paparazzi present, we’re careful when we leave the house. Other than that…” She laughs at the absurdity of it all. “We don’t stand in the checkout line at the grocery store looking at the magazines. Our friends don’t tell us about it. And our kids don’t know. I feel if we keep looking out for them, they’ll be fine.”

On balancing work and children with Brad…

He takes the kids to school; he visits me on set with the kids. I’m home for dinner, or I’m there for breakfast. We’re together all the time. We plan. Brad and I take time off between films to travel, have big experiences, do things together. That’s how we work it out.”