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Love Angelina Jolie’s movies? Of course not. But they’re not what make her the star she is | Hadley Freeman

It’s been years since she was in a film worth watching, but she has made being a celebrity its own art form

I see that Angelina Jolie is on the cover of Vogue this month, to brighten our February gloom, which provides me with an opportunity to discuss what might be the most urgent question of our era: why is Jolie so famous?

Let’s take this apart. First: why is Jolie well-known at all? Because she’s an actor, of course. Aha, I say to you, waggling my moustache like Hercule Poirot, right before dismantling somebody’s alibi: name a single movie of Jolie’s that you have actually seen. Maybe Maleficent, AKA Wicked Witch Of The Cheekbones? Possibly Girl, Interrupted? Sure, they exist, those movies, and she was definitely in them. Except they were made two decades apart, and they came out either long before her peak fame era or many years into it, which I would date roughly as 2005 to 2017. Instead, during that period Jolie made films such as Wanted, Beowulf, Changeling and Salt. Did you see any of those? Of course not. No one you know saw Jolie’s 2017 film, By The Sea. And yet, during those years, Jolie was probably the most A-list US actress in the world.

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