Though now a blue ribbon movie star – and an accomplished director with three features under her belt – Angelina Jolie has never been averse to appearing in straight-up, action-heavy popcorn flicks, booking roles in the likes of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Salt, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. According to the actress, such roles actually help keep her sane. “I felt that if between [the intense dramas] A Mighty Heart and Changeling, I didn’t do something else, I was going to be in a very dark, unhappy place,” Jolie told FilmInk of starring in the 2008 actioner, Wanted.
One hi-gloss flick that she didn’t take, however, was Charlie’s Angels, the 2000 revamp of the famous femme-power seventies TV series. The film’s producer/star, Drew Barrymore, and co-star, Cameron Diaz, had campaigned hard to get Jolie into the film, and a premature news report even announced that the actress had accepted a role. “She’s the female James Dean for our time,” said Columbia studio boss, Amy Pascal, in response to the erroneous story. “I’d make any movie with her in it. I begged her to do Charlie’s Angels. But she’s no angel.”
While in Sydney to promote her film, The Bone Collector, back in 1999, Jolie told FilmInk that she’d turned down the role because “the reasons to do it would be to play a tough girl, and I’ve already done that. Plus, I don’t wanna be that exposed by being in a really big movie.”
Though on record as saying that the script for Charlie’s Angels was “cute and fun”, Jolie (who was hot off acclaimed performances in the TV films, Gia and Wallace) felt that she wasn’t ready for such a film. “Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz are already celebrities, and they’ll have great fun spoofing their images in Charlie’s Angels,” Jolie said in Angelina Jolie: A Biography. “I’m not at that point in my career, so audiences won’t have as much fun watching me run around in high heels chasing bad guys and flipping my hair.”
The role, of course, eventually went to Lucy Liu.
Would It Have Worked?
Yes, in a heartbeat…