Angelina Jolie: Date Night with Brad Pitt Is Good for the Kids, Too

12/06/2010 at 11:15 AM EST

Angelina Jolie: Date Night with Brad Pitt Is Good for the Kids, Too
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Jim Smeal/BEImages

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt

For Angelina Jolie, date night with companion Brad Pitt isn't so much an escape from the kids as another way to nurture them.

"You have to make time when you are not Mom and Dad once in a while," the actress, 35, tells Britain's Daily Mail's You magazine.

"The most important thing is that you love your children, but you also have to stay focused on each other so that you stay strong. And you staying strong as a couple keeps the kids in an even better place."

The Oscar winner says she's trying to instill the same confidence in her six kids – Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Knox and Vivienne – as her own mother, the late French actress Marcheline Bertrand, gave her.

"My mother made me feel very loved and sent me out into my life to be whatever I needed to be and to express whatever I needed to be," Jolie says.

"Hopefully I'm giving my children the sense that they are deeply loved and deeply safe. At the same time we are hopefully encouraging their individuality as they get to know who they are, and not getting in the way of that. That's why they are six very strong individuals."

Asked about Shiloh's well-known tomboy ways, Jolie shrugs. "I don't think it's for the world to interpret anything," she says. "She likes to dress like a boy and wants her hair cut like a boy and she wanted to be called 'John' for a while. Some kids wear capes and want to be Superman, and she wants to be like her brothers. It's who she is."

Jolie also talks about whether she'd ever get plastic surgery – "I don't think I will. But if it makes somebody happy, then that's up to them," she says – as well as her connection to Johnny Depp, whom she got to know while filming The Tourist.

"Neither of us attends many parties or goes out very much. Neither of us seems to take ourselves too seriously," Jolie says. "Your life is full off-set, and you have this nice balance. Johnny is like that, and I'm like that, too."

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