Angelina Jolie on her faith: ‘There’s something greater than all of us’

jolie zamp

Angelina Jolie has never been very religious. She’s never made public statements about her faith or lack thereof, and I always got the feeling that she approached religion in the same way she approaches party politics: make some general statements about the subject at hand, but never give away how you really feel. She just plays that stuff close to the vest. We still, to this day, have no idea if she identifies as Democratic or Republican. We don’t know who she voted for in the last presidential election. And we don’t know when she last went to church. But… meeting (and falling in love with) Louis Zamperini changed her. It was obvious in Unbroken that Jolie was drawn to the religious/spiritual aspects of Zamperini’s story, and now she’s even comfortable saying (in so many words) that she believes there is a God.

Angelina Jolie credits the late Louis Zamperini with teaching her to embrace spirituality. When PEOPLE asked the mother of six what she learned from Zamperini, the World War II hero who’s the inspiration for her film Unbroken, she had an answer ready.

“When there is an obstacle, you have to rise to the challenge, not be overwhelmed by it,” she replied. “And we’re not alone in the world.”

Jolie added: “I don’t know if there’s a name for that – religion or faith – just that there’s something greater than all of us, and it’s uniting and beautiful.”

Zamperini became close friends with Jolie while they worked on the film together.

“Angelina is a human dynamo,” said the war hero, who was 97 when he died earlier this year.

“It is a loss impossible to describe,” Jolie said in a statement at the time of his death. “We are all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known him. We will miss him terribly.”

Unbroken exceeded box office expectations in its first weekend of release, earning $46.05 million over four days.

[From People]

How lovely for Saint Jolie to minister to her faithful. Blessed be the Jolie!!! No, I understand what she’s saying. Zamperini made her think about faith and the endurance of the human spirit in ways she never had before. She sounds more like a deist?

Our Lady of Sack Dresses (the holiest of garments) was also out and about in LA on Monday – go here to see the photos. She didn’t look pox-y, which is good. Hopefully, her pox was pretty mild and she’s doing a lot better now.

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Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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62 Responses to “Angelina Jolie on her faith: ‘There’s something greater than all of us’”

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  1. Misprounced Name Dropper says:

    Seems apt for someone with a White Messiah complex.

  2. lisa2 says:

    I understand what she is saying.. I think Brad has been more vocal but I will say that even he never disses anyone else beliefs.. I think Louis story kind of makes anyone believe in a higher power.. you don’t have to name it; but you know that there has to be something bigger than we are.

    Angie has said she is an Independent.

  3. Greata says:

    I do think that meeting Louis was lifechanging for Angie on numerous levels. I saw the movie over the holidays. I thought it was an unabashed love letter to Zamperini, and his beliefs. Why is it that everyone else is allowed to grow and evolve from a wild past except Jolie? SMH.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      ahh…not everyone! I just said the same thing on the Ben Affleck post. Angie and Ben both were a little wild and made mistakes in their youths, and some people can’t seem to believe that in 20 years, people change and grow…they still attribute childish antics of the past to people who have, married, have had children, have excellent, stable carreers…God knows I would not want to be judged on things that I was involved with more than twenty years ago!

  4. Ag says:

    to each is own. but, girl, cater to the masses, they’re the ones flocking to see your movie.

  5. db says:

    I feel there’s somewhat less than meets the eye here. I believe AJ is and remains agnostic and related to Zamperini’s spirituality. She may choose a specific religion some day or even become born again a la Jane Fonda

    • Katherine says:

      Jolie was raised Catholic by a fairly religious mother typical of the women who came of age in the 1950s and 1960s. Liberal Catholicism with a real emphasis on charity and good works – the Dorothy Day school of Catholicism if you will. The inculcating of living a life for others is done at a very early age which makes it practically second nature.

      Even if you become an atheist or agnostic it is very hard to leave behind all remnants of a Catholic upbringing. Trust me on this.

  6. Andrea1 says:

    Our Lady of Sack Dresses (the holiest of garments). Hahaha made Me laugh So loud.

  7. khymera says:

    On another note . Why is there no mention of Shiloh changing her name to John.

    • lisa2 says:

      Because she didn’t..

      seriously those stories are based on something Brad said on Oprah. Angie and Brad have talked about Shiloh in several interviews. They never called her anything other than Shiloh..

      just shows how easy some rumor is believed.

      • khymera says:

        Thanks, saw it on instagram and came here next.

      • The Original G says:

        It is so shameful that people would spread this kind of stuff about an 8 year old girl.

        And what if it was true? How is it ANYBODIES business?

      • Kim1 says:

        In 2008,when Shiloh was 2,Brad mentioned she wanted to be call John.For all we know that could have lasted a week.But of course the tabloids keep repeating that story.As LISA2 stated ,Brad,Angie,even Jon Voight always refer to her as a girl( daughter, granddaughter).
        This pisses me off because it is making light of trans kids.I just read a heartbreaking story of a 16 y.o. trans girl who killed herself by jumping in front of a tractor trailer.She posted her suicide note on tumblr.
        RIP Leelah

      • Janet says:

        When Shiloh was around 3 Brad said she was watching Peter Pan and she related to the John character so she wanted to be called John. I couldn’t blame her. I thought Wendy was dreadful.

  8. Janet says:

    Why is who she voted for any business of anybody?

  9. qtip says:

    I think her answer is good and I relate to it.

    I personally don’t like discussing my beliefs, as it is personal.

  10. scout says:

    Most people lean towards Faith, hope and spirituality when life throws few hard balls and survive. We can always learn from others and choose our own paths. I understand what she is saying. Life is a great teacher.

  11. Maya says:

    Angelina is not saying anything different then before. Even now she is not saying there is a God – only that there is something else out there which people interpret however they want it to be.

    Some people call it God, Goddess, Faith, Hope, Destiny etc it doesn’t make it right or wrong whatever name you give it. The only that matters is that it gives you something you can hold on to.

    PS: well done – this movie will pass 100 m globally this weekend. Not bad for a minimal talented spoiled brat. Take that haters, selective awards bloggers.

  12. MAC says:

    She did not say “she believes there is a God.”
    What she said could be interperted many ways. What she said was worded well.

    I remember once she said that in her home (meaning her and Brad)
    One believed in the Death Penalty and one did not

    I think it is beautiful truly beautiful, in the way that matters that she seems to have less angst and be softening.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      I don’t know why people think she doesn’t believe in some type of a God. She mentioned a few years ago that they have several religious tomes, not just the Christian Bible, so the kids could become acquainted with all the world’s religions and make up their own minds which, if any, they chose.

      • Jessica says:

        So do I and I’m a strident athiest. Surely reading the major religious texts is just part of a half decent education?

  13. Kay V says:

    God help her if she has been spiritually moved by anything resembling mainstream religion. All the trendizoids & know-it-alls in her industry seem to show tolerance & acceptance for everything but that.

  14. vauvert says:

    I think she is smart to keep her opinions on issues like faith and politics to herself, they are such polarizing topics and no matter what you say part of the audience will howl for blood.
    I think her statement was actually intelligent and well worded. And even if she subtly alters a previous stance, why not? We all grow and change as we age, why shouldn’t she?

  15. Maria says:

    I can dig it.

    I’m an atheist but believe in the perseverance of the human “spirit.”

    Humanity fights like no othe species to live.

    I look at the world, stars, and to my loved ones and know how fortunate I am to simply be here–given her humanitarian work, travels, and own beautiful family, I’m sure she feels “blessed” in her own way.

  16. Barrett says:

    My brother and a friend had chicken pox after 20. He was talking about how horrendous it is an adult. It is in lungs, eyes, throat. He went to emergency Room. I’m surprised she has no signs of an aftermath. And I believed the story. but now I have a slight question in my mind. Did she?

    • lisa2 says:

      She said it was a mild case. Everyone heals differently. I don’t see any reason for her to lie. She has been out of site for a couple of weeks.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      Some people have a more severe case than others, some have a light case. When my kids came down with the chicken pox, one you could barely see any evidence he had it but the other…well, I was sure her future children would be born immune because she had it so bad.

      • misstee says:

        Its impossible to have a mild case as an adult, I had it at 19 and that’s what I was told by many many doctors.

        Impossible…

      • Leah says:

        Really, misstee? You saw and spoke to “many many” doctors regarding your chicken pox?

      • Caribbean says:

        I had chicken pox as an adult and was given some green pill and my break-out STOPED but I still felt ichy and was not well for a little while

    • Isabelle says:

      I was a Nurse have worked in the ER and as the poster says above, depends on the patient. It may worse in SOME adults but for others, barely effected by it. I’ve seen adults admitted to the hospital for it (which is uncommon actually) some leave the emergency room with nothing more than a fever reliever. @ misstee Don’t know which doctors you’ve talked to but it really does depend on the patient, their health, & various circumstances if they have a bad reaction or not. Age also doesn’t mean you have good immune system to fight these viruses. More complications may rise but very rarely are they dangerous.

    • BNA FAN says:

      @Barrett: Did you see a close up picture of Angelina’s face without makeup to make the statement that you see no sign of chickenpox? Why would she lie about having CK? Some people are always looking for anything to try to bring this woman down. So happy Angelina and Brad just live their lives and keep their circle tight.

      • Barrett says:

        I said slight question in my mind. I didn’t attack her. It would be odd to lie, agreed. Your response is over the top brageloonie. Thanks to those in medical field for responding w background on the pox.

  17. Jayna says:

    She stated in an interview years ago she was a registered independent.

  18. misstee says:

    What she is doing is paying lip service to the very demographic that are actually paying to see the film – from what I heard the religious right were very much courted and that’s why it did ok at the box office – in Britain they have had to resort to crappy adverts every five minutes because we are a godless lot.

    • lisa2 says:

      It did OK at the BO?

      It will reach around 100 million probably by the weekend or next week. That is better than OK at the BO.

      Wonder why no one is asking why ITTW didn’t make more money; considering it was Disney and for kids and had some MAJOR stars in it.
      But any excuse to say this film is not a big success. This movie is appealing to more people than the ones of faith. But so what if it is. Better than some of the other generic fare that is always available. Nothing wrong with a film eyeing a certain Demo.. and just because that demo is religious why is that some kind of negative.

      I think everyone involved is quite pleased by the outcome.

  19. Lucky Charm says:

    I don’t know why people think she doesn’t believe in some type of a God. She mentioned a few years ago that they have several religious tomes, not just the Christian Bible, so the kids could become acquainted with all the world’s religions and make up their own minds which, if any, they chose. Just because she has never said outright “I’m a Catholic”, doesn’t mean that she doesn’t believe in something. I actually believe, with everything she has seen and experienced in her life working with refugees, etc. that she is more spiritual than Brad is, and he was raised in a very religious home. :-)

  20. SnarkGirl says:

    I can’t imagine how anyone can do the type of humanitarian work that she does, and see the things she’s seen, and still believe in a god.

    That said, her statement was beautifully crafted and ambiguous enough that people can read into it what they want, which was probably her intention. To state either for or against her own personal beliefs in a god/s would be far too polarizing and she is obviously smart enough to know it.

  21. ann says:

    I remember reading where she said her mother really loved Jesus.

  22. neer says:

    Many people believe in God BUT they don’t live like true followers of God. They hurt people. They make false stories about others.

    Which is better, NOT known as believer of God BUT living a life honestly, doesn’t hurt people & who has compassion for others or someone who claims that he/she is a religious person BUT live otherwise?

    • Leah says:

      Well said. I’ve seen comments by a few people elsewhere about Angelina calling her the most vile things and judging her over spiteful and trivial things, yet having a cross as an avatar or posting deeply religious posts elsewhere.

      • Yeah, I’ve been reading some stuff on PEOPLE–the most judge-y comments I’ve seen about the movie, about Angelina, have been people who ended their “Angelina is a skanky homewrecker who shit all over Jesus and Louis” rants with “she needs Jesus”. Like WTF?

  23. Hilly H says:

    He looks like an older Terry Bradshaw.