WASHINGTON: Angelina Jolie has defended her casting process for new film ‘First They Killed My Father’ and said the accusations are false and upsetting.
An excerpt from a Vanity Fair profile of the director sparked backlash online earlier this week from people who criticized the methods as being cruel and exploitative, reports E! Online.
“In order to find their lead, to play young Loung Ung, the casting directors set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away. The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie,” the Vanity Fair story reads.
The Oscar winner clarified in a statement to the Huffington Post "every measure was taken to ensure the safety, comfort and well-being of the children on the film starting from the auditions through production to the present" and that the audition "game" was rather an improvisation exercise based off a scene in the film.
Jolie added that she was ‘upset’ at Vanity Fair's description of her audition exercises and expressed that real money was not taken from children during the auditions.
"I am upset that a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film, has been written about as if it was a real scenario," she said.
"The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting. I would be outraged myself if this had happened."
‘First They Killed My Father’ is set in Cambodia, a country where Jolie has honorary citizenship and where she adopted one of her children from.