The Golden Globe nominee explains how her character got shortchanged in ''Girl, Interrupted''

By Liane Bonin
Updated January 12, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST
Angelina Jolie
Credit: Russ Einhorn/STAR MAX, Inc.
  • Movie

Angelina Jolie’s performance as the charismatic sociopath Lisa in ”Girl, Interrupted” was impressive enough for a Golden Globe nomination, but the 24-year-old actress has mixed feelings about the finished film, which follows life on the teen ward of a mental hospital. Jolie fears that Lisa’s sometimes outrageous behavior is unfairly vilified in the story. ”I’m surprised that people would have compassion for a character that the film doesn’t,” says Jolie.

She explains that scenes which might have given Lisa a sympathetic twist ended up on the cutting-room floor. ”I think [director James Mangold] did an amazing job of putting the movie together, but it’s a weird thing what the film says, because I don’t see my character as a sociopath, but instead someone who was very much deserving of compassion. I thought through the whole movie she was a really positive force. There was a moment with the other girls where we all ended up dog piling and falling over laughing that was great, but it isn’t in the film. And there’s one scene where she tries to feel something, so she burns herself. They cut it, but I thought it was important. I saw her for who she was, so that’s why I hate to think that it’s seen as [right] for people like her to be locked up.”

Mangold defends his choice to trim Jolie’s more endearing scenes. ”Nothing would have changed the way you perceive the movie,” he shrugs. ”I wrote the scene, I shot it, but when I included it the energy of the film dies, so it was cut. It’s just part of the process of making a movie.” Mangold thinks Jolie may have a little more sympathy for his decision when she steps into his shoes. ”Angie’s one of the most brilliant actresses around, and I am sure she’s going to direct a picture herself in the next couple of years,” he says. ”I look forward to her discoveries.” We can picture it now: ”Girl, Interrupted 2: Lisa’s Revenge.”

Girl, Interrupted

  • Movie
  • R
  • 127 minutes
  • James Mangold