After presenting their animated slate on Friday (August 9), Disney previewed their upcoming live-action movies on Saturday (August 10) at the 2013 D23 Expo. One of the most buzzed-about movies presented was “Maleficent,” which star Angelina Jolie helped introduce to the fan convention in Anaheim, Calif.
“Maleficent” is the origin story of the “Sleeping Beauty” villain (Jolie), and will show how she became so hardened and evil. Elle Fanning will portray Princess Aurora.
“The strange thing was people with little kids would visit the set and I would think, ‘I’m a Disney character!'” Jolie told the crowd. “I’d go over to the children and say hi, and they would scream and run off. One little boy actually said, ‘Mommy, please tell the mean witch to please stop talking to me.'”
One child who wasn’t afraid of Jolie while in character? Jolie’s real-life daughter Vivienne, who plays the young version of Princess Aurora/Briar Rose. “She was the only 4-year-old who wouldn’t scream,” Jolie said.
So what drew Jolie to the part in the first place? “I’ve loved Disney since I was a little girl and my children loved Disney. You know you can bring your kids to a Disney film,” Jolie said. “Since I was a little girl, Maleficent was always my favorite. I was terrified of her, but I was so drawn to her. I wanted to know more about her, know what she was like and who she was. She had this elegance and grace, and yet she was so cruel, Just wonderfully and deliciously cruel.”
Jolie actually found out about the upcoming live-action take on Maleficent from her brother, who remembered her fascination with the character when they were children. “I got a call from my brother who said, ‘You’ve got to try to get in on this,'” Jolie said. Looks like she owes her brother a huge thank you.
“Maleficent” hits theaters July 2, 2014.