Family was at the heart of Angelina Jolie and Justin Trudeau’s speeches at this year’s Women of the World Summit, which touched down for the first time in Toronto on Sept 11. While the prime minster spent some of his time with the microphone praising his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the Hollywood actress used her panel to reflect on her children and the important role travel plays in their lives.
Justin kicked off the summit with powerful messages on feminism and justice, taking time out of his speech to applaud his wife Sophie’s activism and dedication to women’s rights. He further showed his appreciation for her support throughout his political career.
“I knew that if I went into politics it would be not with a wife but with a partner and it was essential for me that Sophie be part of my values, my strategy, my approach,” confessed the father of three.
The leader continued: “She is an extraordinary partner who challenges me, who pushes me. Yes, she does a little more at home than I do, actually she does a hell of lot more, but she’s extraordinarily active on a broad range of causes and issues and is out there pushing and fighting and is a constant inspiration to me.”
The 45-year-old revealed that Sophie had a dream of homeschooling their children and travelling the world, but has had to put that plan on the backburner. “She has had to put aside some of her dreams for how we would even raise our kids,” he shared. “She’s always wanted to take our kids out of school and travel around the world in a sailboat and homeschool them and see the world, but you can’t do it when you’re Prime Minister,” he said with a laugh.
Angelina shares in Sophie’s desire to show rather than teach children about cultures and communities throughout the world. “Connecting with and helping other people is a pleasure and a privilege. I want them to be with people in other countries, to enjoy them and celebrate them. Yes, I want them to have empathy, but that comes naturally if they’re exposed,” noted the actress. The mother of six then tearfully talked about how much her kids have impacted her life, “My children teach me. I’m raised by my children. I see the world through their eyes and I’m better for it.”
Angelina is in Canada to attend the premiere of her directorial venture First They Killed My Father at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The movie is based on the emotional memoir by Loung Ung. The story follows a young Loung who was trained as a child soldier and forced from her home in Phnom Phen during the Khmer Rouge reign in Cambodia.
Together with the author, Angelina spoke about the tragedies faced by the Cambodian people and how important it was for her to include her adopted Cambodian son Maddox in the making of the story. Because the film is from a child’s perspective, Maddox was instrumental in helping write the script, she shared.
The 42-year-old shared the story of the first time she met Loung in Cambodia, “We ended up in a monsoon and, I said, ‘I’m thinking of adopting from Cambodia and as a Cambodian orphan yourself, would you be offended or would you be supportive?’ and had she said anything differently, my life would be very different,” she said, smiling fondly at the memory. “She’s really helped me as I raised Maddox to learn who he is.”