Angelina Jolie can expect a heroine’s welcome when she moves her family to Cambodia.
Women in the South-east Asian nation consider her their ‘patron saint’ – some even believing she was Cambodian in a previous life.
‘She has some of our same beautiful physical features,’ farmer Phalla Ung told DailyMail.com.
‘The delicate features, the eyes, the skin tone, the hair and especially her smile, they look so Cambodian.
‘Many of us believe that in a past life Angelina was actually a Cambodian,’ added 62-year-old Ung, who still labors in the fields.
Angelina’s oldest child Maddox was born in Cambodia and studied at university in South Korea. Maddox and his mother were invited to a State dinner at the White House for the South Korean president in April
‘The delicate features, the eyes, the skin tone, the hair and especially her smile, they look so Cambodian,’ farmer Phalla Ung told DailyMail.com.
Angelina has three adopted children and three with Brad Pitt. From left, Shiloh, 17, Vivienne, 15, Maddox, 22, Pax, 20, Zahara, 18, and Knox, 15
Jolie, 48, spoke out this week in an interview with WSJ. – The Wall Street Journal’s magazine – about how she wants to get away from ‘unhealthy’ Los Angeles and live in her Asian home.
But her plans have been stymied due to her long-running custody battle with ex-husband Brad Pitt.
The pair started dating in 2005 and married in 2014, but split two years later, in 2016 – and since then, they have been embroiled in a lengthy, seven-year divorce proceeding over the custody of their six kids.
But as that legal fight winds down her chance to move way from acting and live in the country she loves are becoming more real.
‘We Cambodians will openly welcome her,’ said Phon Phalla, a 72-year-old from Kampong Phluk, a picturesque village in the west of the country where many houses are built on stilts due to the huge change in water levels between the wet and dry seasons.
‘If she is willing to give up her life in Hollywood to find happiness here with us after traveling so many places, we would feel very honored.
‘We would like nothing better than to put a smile on Angelina’s face – one we can make last forever.’
Maddox waved as Angelina and her children met Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni in 2017 to unveil her documentary on the horrors of the Khmer Rouge era in the country
Angelina founded the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation in 2003 to protect land and wildlife and clear landmines in a country where around 40 people a year are killed by the explosives
Angelina has helped in refugee camps around the world including in Tanzania, which in 2003 was home to some 60,000 exiles from Congo
Angelina greeted Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni at the opening of her 2017 documentary First They Killed My Father about the horrific rule of the Khmer Rouge in the country in the 1970s
Angelina adopted Maddox in 2002 when she was still married to Billy Bob Thornton. After she started dating Brad Pitt he also formally adopted him
Many of the women of Cambodia are strong and they work as hard as the men, fishing and farming and with the added burden of caring for their children and their families.
Angelina owns a traditional longhouse set on 150,000 acres of land in remote northwestern Cambodia which she used as backdrop for a 2019 advertising campaign for the fragrance Mon Guerlain.
The idea of Angelina shedding her life of privilege in California and trading it in for a much simpler life in Cambodia, makes her a role model for the women of the country.
‘She’s our saint,’ said Kol Thida, a farmer.
‘I like Angelina ‘s personality so much because she chooses people over Hollywood.
‘And the fact she has adopted children from all over the world, is proof how she clearly loves humanity and has a loving kindness regardless of her ethnicity.
‘We Cambodians will openly welcome her,’ said Phon Phalla, 72. ‘If she is willing to give up her life in Hollywood to find happiness here with us after traveling so many places, we would feel very honored’
‘Many of us believe that in a past life Angelina was actually a Cambodian,’ said Phalla Ung (left). Kol Thida (right) said: ‘She’s our saint’
‘‘A few days in Cambodia among the warm local people, and I feel my soul is recovering,’ Angelina said during a visit last year
‘We will welcome her to move to our country with open arms.’
Jolie has three adopted children, including her oldest Maddox, 22, who she took home from an orphanage in the country’s third-largest city, Battambang.
She also adopted Pax, 20, from Vietnam and Zahara,18, from Ethiopia. She and Pitt had three children, Shiloh, 17, and 15-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.
The children now have little or no contact with Pitt, 59.
Just last month, DailyMail.com revealed that Pax had written an excoriating Father’s Day message to him calling him ‘a world class a**hole’ and saying: ‘You have made the lives of those closest to me a constant hell.’
‘You time and time and again prove yourself to be a terrible and despicable person,’ Pax wrote.
‘You have no consideration or empathy toward your 4 youngest children who tremble in fear when in your presence.
‘You will never understand the damage you have done to my family because you are incapable of doing so,’ Pax added.
Pax, who was 16 at the time ended the post with the words ‘So, Happy Father’s Day, you f***ing awful human being!!!’
Their adopted daughter has even gone as far as to change her name from Zahara Jolie-Pitt to Zahara Jolie.
Angelina filed for divorce from Pitt two days after a reported argument on a private plane when Maddox stepped in to protect his mother from an allegedly drunk Pitt.
Maddox is now said to be completely estranged from Pitt.
In her WSJ. Interview Angelina said: ‘I will move when I can.’
She added: ‘I grew up in quite a shallow place. Of all the places in the world, Hollywood is not a healthy place. So you seek authenticity.’
Angelina – whose parents, Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand, were both actors – added that because ‘she grew up around’ Hollywood, she was ‘never very impressed’ with it.
Pax called his adoptive father a ‘world class a**hole’ and ‘a f***ing awful human being’ in a Father’s Day rant on Instagram in 2020
The children now have little or no contact with their Brad who was in Las Vegas last month for the Formula 1 Grand Prix
‘I never bought into it as significant or important,’ she told the publication.
She admitted that if she were to start all over today, she likely wouldn’t choose acting as her profession, because of the ‘expectation’ to share intimate details about her personal life that comes with fame.
She added, ‘When I was starting out, it wasn’t as much of an expectation to be as public, to share so much.’
She also joked that she ‘doesn’t really have a social life’ anymore and that all of her ‘closest friends are refugees.’
The movie star has worked with the the UN Refugee Agency for more than two decades, visiting camps in Cambodia, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, and Pakistan over the years.
‘There’s a reason people who have been through hardship are also much more honest and much more connected, and I am more relaxed with them,’ she said.
‘Why do I like spending time with people who’ve survived and are refugees? They’ve confronted so much in life that it brings forward not just strength, but humanity.’
In 2003, Angelina founded the non-profit Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, a ‘conservation and community development program’ to protect endangered wildlife and forests in Cambodia.
Its first task was to clear landmines left over from years of conflict in the 1970s and ‘80s. That action helped Angelina boost her popularity in a country where an estimated 5 million landmines lie undiscovered, killing or injuring more than 40 people every year.
Last year Angelina took her daughter Shiloh to Cambodia to work with the foundation.
‘A few days in Cambodia among the warm local people, and I feel my soul is recovering,’ she said at the time.
‘This has always been a special country for me and our family.’