Angelina Jolie used to play the hard girl. This fall, she goes vulnerable and ladylike - and twice as touch.
Angelina Jolie does not like to be touched. "I like to be felt or invaded or confronted," she says, "but I don't like to be touched."
Jolie is adamant on this point, and as she speaks her blue-green eyes blaze with an intensity that recalls punk roack and a mixture of adolescent fury and joy. In her films, Jolie's eyes can convey a longing sadness alongside the anger. In life, they most often read bemused and unwavering. It's very simple, she says: "I don't like to talk about nothing, and I don't like to just kind of be touched."
She smiles, though, widely, and has a firm handshake. Occasionally she hugs - with intent and sometimes with affection, letting her attenuate fingers linger. And she laughs very merrily. For all the tattoos that festoon her body, for all the bored reproach emanating from her haunted beauty (So voluptuous! So gaunt!), Angelina Jolie is really very sweet.
She radiates, though: one-way street. "It's not a complete feeling of anything or a complete expression of anything, " she says of those who would stroke her arm in conversation or air-kiss her cheek in greeting. "If they're just being comforting, kind of because they think they should, and they don't know what else to do, I can feel that and it bothers me."
That must be tough eggs for a young woman poised on the verge of stardom. Jolie is 24, and until last year her career read strictly low-budget hottie, with lots of experience playing characters with preposterous names like "Cash." But then came back-to-back Golden Globes for 1997's George Wallace and 1998's Gia. "It's okay to be a lady," she says as she awaits reviews of her leading roles in October's The Bone Collector (opposite Denzel Washington) and this winter's Girl, Interrupted (starring Winona Ryder). "it doesn't mean you're not strong and independent, you know - to be needy, a little, or to be soft."