While most famous women in Hollywood busy themselves spluttering bland platitudes and burbling bogus bons mots, 23-year-old Angelina Jolie prefers to boast of bondage and exchange bawdy talk with her interviewers. Jolie jumps right in there, elucidating her fetish for knives in the bedroom (she's cut herself loads of times in S&M larks), her time wearing rubber when sleeping with the actress Jenny Shimizu and, most famously, recalling when she cut herself and then spelt the name of her then husband-to-be Jonny Lee Miller in her own blood. On her wedding dress no less.
"I won't allow myself to be censored despite what other people advise me. My father (Jon Voight) recently asked me why I talk about these things in interviews and I pointed out it's easier for him because interviewers allow him to talk about real stuff. They don't do that with me."
Surprisingly but not disingenuously, Jolie is shocked by the adverse reaction to her so-called "weirdness" Affronted interviewers get particularly wound up because they don't get to dismiss Jolie as an attention-seeking young ingenue with a lot to learn. After all, she has been at this game some time--having watching her father in action, she got the acting bug early with a stint at the Lee Strasburg Method school, before taking her first role, when she was just 17, as a bionic martial artist alongside Elias Koteas in the post-apocalyptic Cyborg II: Glass Shadow in 1993
A most impressive body of work has followed (she won accolades for her visceral performance as drug-ruined 70's supermodel Gia Carangi in TV movie Gia) such that even the most rigorous of critics will be forced to overlook the markedly Natasha Henstridge corridor of her early career, once her next raft of films come out. Following this month's classy depiction of club kid Joan to Ryan Philippe's Keenan in Playing By Heart, there's Tony Cinciripini's Hell's Kitchen (with her ex-Miller), The Bone Collector in which she plays a homicide cop alongside Denzel Washington, then she assays a mental health patient in Girl, Interrupted (with Winona Ryder) and Nic Cage action vehicle Gone In 60 Seconds.
With a look of India favorite Fairuza Balk about her, crossed with the over-animated features of Brigitte Nielsen, she's certainly got the sex appeal cranked up to indecent levels.
"And you know, I still turn up at shoots where I am asked to wear skimpy bra tops and short skirts. And I don't wear that shit normally. Then I see pictures of Jonny (Lee Miller) and he's allowed to wear what he wants."
She tops herself getting too petulant before going on.
"I do it of course. But I do get wound up by all this because if you do talk to the press, it's no surprise if they ask you about your sexual practices. And I'll answer anything, just as long as I can explain what I've learnt from experiences. I won't get all precious"
But didn't it gall her when they started to write about the messy break-up with Jonny Lee Miller?
"We didn't have a messy break-up. I hated it when the press reported that. You know, we're still good friends and might even find a way back to each other one daySometimes I don't want to talk about stuff because it affects other people, like Jonny."
Jolie genuinely is a little kooky, but in an interesting way. Hell she even has a letter H tattooed on her left wrist, and the Latin inscription Qoud me nutrit me destuit-"That which nourishes me destroys me".
"Don't make me out to sound too weird," she pleads. "It's so easy to do and people write that who don't know me at all. I look at the life of Winona Ryder and I don't have any of the movie star lifestyle she has."
But it will soon be hard for her to resist, once the next movies hit the multiplexes. Presumably, the transition to Hollywood superstar will be tricky for the quirky, knife-throwing one who grew up fast and lived with her punk boyfriend when she was just 14. But just when you think you've got the measure of the punk persona, Jolie diverts you.
Listen to her conservatism about raising the modern family: "I won't have a baby because I'm too selfish to devote and I think you have to give yourself up to 20 years of dedication"