Angelina Jolie never imagined she'd have six children, though it's hard to picture the actress without her brood these days. "It's strange, I never wanted to have a baby. I never wanted to be pregnant. I never babysat. I never thought of myself as a mother," the star told the Associated Press in Cambodia last week.
In fact it was only after Angelina came to Cambodia to film 2001's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider that her maternal instincts began to kick in. The star spent time playing with children at a local school, and she said: "It was suddenly very clear to me that my son was in the country, somewhere."
She found her little boy Maddox in 2002, and a year after adopting him opened a foundation in his name in the north-western Battambang province, to help fund healthcare, education and conservation projects in rural Cambodia.
Angelina is currently in Cambodia while she directs her next film, First They Killed My Father, which is based on the memoir of Loung Ung, a survivor of the 1970s Cambodian genocide.
The story follows the harrowing tale of war from a child's perspective. Angelina will act as co-writer, producer and director on the project.
"I was deeply affected by Loung's book," the Oscar-winner said. "It deepened forever my understanding of how children experience war and are affected by the emotional memory of it. And it helped me draw closer still to the people of Cambodia, my son's homeland."
The star has made the experience a family affair, with 14-year-old Maddox assisting in research and Pax, 12, acting as set photographer. "For me, this is the moment, where finally my life is kind of in line," Angelina added. "And I feel I'm finally where I should be."