Angelina Jolie: I Feel in Contact with My Mother When I Look at My Children
10/06/2014 AT 08:35 PM EDT
In a new interview with French Marie Claire, Jolie speaks about her mother's legacy and its impact on her own humanitarian work.
Bertrand, who passed away in 2007 after a long battle with ovarian cancer, "was very soft but could move mountains for her kids," Jolie, 39, told the magazine. "That's something I always admire in women: that mix of softness and strength. She was half Indian, and I remember that as a small girl, she took me to a dinner for Amnesty International."
"She always tried to understand the complexity of the world. She had a great heart which was sensitive to the world's violence."
Asked whether she believes in life after death, Jolie replied, "I'm not certain ... I feel in contact with my mother when I look at my children. I can feel her influence over me then. I see that my way of raising them resembles the way she raised my brother and I. It's more apparent with my daughters Shiloh and Vivienne. Therefore, yes, my mother is there, present in this influence, all the time."
The actress, who has been in Malta with new husband Brad Pitt and their six kids as part of a working honeymoon, also spoke about their upcoming romantic drama By the Sea.
"We'll play an American couple in the south [of France] that should remind you no doubt of someone."
As for the couple's real-life home base in the south of France, Château Miraval, Jolie says it is "perfectly situated" for their busy family.
"I'm not very good at relaxing," she says. "I can't stay put. I read, write, negotiate films, I carry my office around with me." Miraval, she notes, "is close to European cities, but also to Africa and the Middle East. To all the theaters of operations where my United Nations work obliges me to go. L.A. is clearly too far from all that."
Speaking about her role as a special envoy to the United Nations Refugee Agency, Jolie addressed her work at The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, where she delivered the opening remarks in London in June.
Given her ongoing activism, would she ever be tempted to run for office?
"I don't think my family would agree," she says. "And then I don't know how I could be more useful than now, because my position as a public figure helps so much in generating media attention for my fight."
One thing she does know for certain: Her famous tattoo collection is sure to grow – possibly influenced by her upcoming WWII film, Unbroken.
"You can be certain I'll have a new one soon," she says. "Without a doubt, something with Japanese inspiration."
With PETER MIKELBANK