The 82-year-old Academy Award-winner opened up to Ben Mankiewicz on CBS Sunday Morning, reflecting on his film career, his political views and a dream partnership with daughter Jolie, 45.
"You have to be proud that your daughter followed in your footsteps and is so good at this, not just as an actor but as a writer, director, too," said Mankiewicz. In addition to scoring a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the 1999 film Girl, Interrupted, Jolie has directed six films including First They Killed My Father (2017) and In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011).
"Yeah, she's really remarkable," answered Voight. "She's got her own thing, man. She's got her own way of dealing with things, you know? She's very clear." As to whether Voight has interest in acting under Jolie's direction, he laughed. "She would be tough! But yes, of course, I would love to work with her." A hypothetical partnership would follow their acting collaboration in the 2001 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
However, the relationship between Voight and Jolie has wavered — last year in a written New York Times article, the actress remembered her mother Marcheline Bertrand, who died in 2007, while noting her troubled marriage. "When my father had an affair, it changed her life," wrote Jolie. "It set her dream of family life ablaze. But she still loved being a mother. Her dreams of being an actor faded as she found herself, at the age of 26, raising two children with a famous ex who would cast a long shadow on her life. After she died, I found a video of her acting in a short film. She was good. It was all possible for her."
Jolie and Voight were also estranged for a long time— the actress was a toddler when her parents split and communication with her father was inconsistent during adulthood. In 2002, Jolie legally changed her name to omit "Voight" amid claims that Jolie did not allow Voight to see his grandson Maddox. According to Entertainment Weekly, Jolie responded by stating: ”I don’t want to make public the reasons for my bad relationship with my father…. After all these years, I have determined that it is not healthy for me to be around my father, especially now that I am responsible for my own child.”
However, in 2010, Jolie's then-husband Brad Pitt encouraged a reconciliation that sparked a new relationship. “He’s been very good at understanding they needed their grandfather at this time,” Jolie told Vanity Fair of her father in 2017. “I had to do a therapy meeting last night and he was just around. He knows kind of the rule—don’t make them play with you. Just be a cool grandpa who’s creative, and hang out and tell stories and read a book in the library.”
In the CBS interview, Voight, a fierce supporter of former President Donald Trump also defended his personal politics, which he shares on social media and through professional projects. Voight's latest film Roe V. Wade, about the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion, has been criticized as propaganda with "poor production."
"I'm a conservative, as you know, and I'm not so happy with government involvement in anything," said Voight. "I'm very concerned about our country. I'm very concerned about this attack on free speech. I don't like it that we can't sit down and talk about everything. We're all unique. There's no one that's different or better or whatever it is. We all are unique."
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