After recently removing her ovaries and fallopian tubes as a preventative measure, Angelina Jolie has opened up about drawing strength from personal challenges. In a new interview with Elle, the mother of six offered her philosophy for overcoming life's obstacles.
"I do believe in the old saying, 'What does not kill you makes you stronger'," Angelina explained while reflecting on Louis Zamperini – the inspiration for her film, Unbroken. "Our experiences, good and bad, make us who we are. By overcoming difficulties, we gain strength and maturity."
Angelina – who also had a double masectomy in May 2013 to cut her risk of developing breast cancer - revealed that she has entered early menopause in a candid and deeply personal essay for The New York Times last month.
"I went through what I can imagine what thousands of other women have felt," wrote the star, after doctors found inflammatory markers that could have been a sign of early ovarian cancer. "I told myself to be calm, to be strong, and that I had no reason to think that I wouldn't live to see my children grow up and to meet my grandchildren."
She added: "The beautiful thing about such moments in life is that there is so much clarity. You know what you live for and what matters. It is polarizing, and it is peaceful."
Just a few days after her piece was published, Angelina made a public appearance at the Kids' Choice Awards with daughters Shiloh and Zahara. The star was praised for the empowering speech she gave as she accepted the award for Best Villain for her leading role in Maleficent.
"I want to say that when I was little, like Maleficent I was told that I was different," Angelina told the excited audience. "And I felt out of place, and too loud, too full of fire, never good at sitting still, never good at fitting in. And then one day I realized something, something I hope you all realize: different is good.
"So don't fit in," she added. "Don't sit still, don’t ever try to be less than what you are, and when someone tells you that you are different, smile and hold your head up high and be proud. And, as your villain, I would also say, cause a little trouble – it's good for you."
Among those entranced by the speech was Katie Holmes, who was sat in the audience with her daughter Suri.
"I'm such a fan of Angelina," she later told Entertainment Tonight. "I think she's incredible in all aspects of her life. I think she's just an inspiration. And her speech just, you know, topped it off."