Angelina Jolie: 'What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger'

by Zach Seemayer 6:30 PM PDT, March 31, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

Angelina Jolie is riding a wave of adoration and support after her recent inspirational speech at the Kids' Choice Awards, and her op-ed in the New York Times detailing her decision to have preventive surgery to battle the possibility of cancer.

The 39-year-old actress and filmmaker's second directorial effort Unbroken -- which recounts and amazing life of Louis Zamperini and his astounding perseverance in the face of a grueling struggle to survive during World War II -- is now out on DVD, and Jolie spoke with Elle about the lessons she learned from retelling such a powerful story.

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"Like many of the greatest human stories, [Unbroken] is about the capacity of regular men and women to rise above adversity," Jolie explained. "It reminds us never to give up, and that having the spirit to fight is what really matters. It is powerful because it speaks to the potential inside all of us."

In a New York Times editorial written by Jolie and published on March 24, the filmmaker explained that she had recently elected to have her ovaries removed, due to test results that showed she had a high likelihood of developing ovarian cancer.

Jolie's bold medical choice, and her previous preventive surgeries, show just how dedicated Jolie is to surviving and thriving, and using every opportunity possible in her fight to never give up.

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"I do believe in the old saying 'What does not kill you makes you stronger.' Our experiences, good and bad, make us who we are," Jolie told Elle. "By overcoming difficulties, we gain strength and maturity."

Recently, fellow actress Katie Holmes opened up about her feelings toward Jolie, saying, "I'm such a fan of Angelina. And I think she's incredible in all aspects of her life. I think she's just an inspiration."

Holmes was referring to Jolie's recent acceptance speech at the Kids' Choice Awards on Saturday where the star said that we, as a society, should accept and celebrate people who are different.

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"I wanna say that when I was little, like Maleficent, I was told that I was different," Jolie told the crowd. "Never good at fitting in, and then I realized something, something I hope you all realize -- different is good."

Check out the video below for a look at Jolie's inspirational message from the Kids' Choice Awards.