After playing a firefighter in her upcoming action-thriller “Those Who Wish Me Dead,” actress Angelina Jolie said she has a “huge amount of respect” for the profession.
Speaking with Fox News, Jolie said that she enjoyed getting to know the people who risk their lives in parts of the United States.
“To explore it with the director [Taylor Sheridan] that really knows and loves this part of the world and to get to know the firefighters, the smoke jumpers, the survivalists, the people that are in this part of America and to spend time with them and try to do our best to represent them on film — just a huge amount of respect for them,” Jolie said.
“I do, I love action. I love a thriller. I love all of that. But if you’re not engaged with the characters and you don’t feel like you’re really following, you know, a human story and relating or caring about these characters … and it’s not enough,” she later added.
Actor Jon Bernthal, who stars alongside Jolie in the movie, agreed.
“I think every project comes with this whole new kind of introduction to [a] world,” he said. “I think human beings are tremendously fascinating, and [to] spend time in anyone else’s world and try to explore the nooks and crannies of it … it’s a real privilege; [a] real honor.”
“Those Who Wish Me Dead” was released in select theaters and on HBO Max Friday. Megan Basham of The Daily Wire hailed the film for being writer/director Taylor Sheridan’s most entertaining work to date.
Sheridan, who also gave us Sicario and Wind River seems to gravitate to stories of strong women surrounded by men in dangerous jobs. That’s a common conceit these days, and audiences have seen Jolie kickbox men twice her size too many times to count. Sheridan, however, respects the audience’s intelligence enough not to pretend a woman, much less one as slight and fragile-looking as Jolie, is a physical match for a man. She may play like she’s just one of the toxic guys, matching them dangerous stunt for dangerous stunt, inappropriate joke for inappropriate joke. But when the chips are down, her only hope for survival if a man wants her dead is a weapon in her hand.
At times, Jolie takes her tough girl act too far — even the most world weary first responder wouldn’t read a father’s note about assassins tracking his son without batting an eye or asking a question. But Sheridan restrains her scowlier moments and tempers them with a natural maternal softness. The result is one of Jolie’s best performances in years.
“Those Who Wish Me Dead” currently holds a 64% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics agreeing the movie works as a “traditional ’90’s style action thriller.”
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