Angelina Jolie confirms retirement from acting: 'I've never been comfortable on-screen'

The Oscar-winner will continue to work as a filmmaker off-screen

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The Independent Culture

Angelina Jolie has confirmed she is retiring from acting to concentrate on writing and directing.

The Hollywood star, who won an Oscar for Girl Interrupted, said she did not enjoy being the centre of attention and intended to move permanently behind the camera.

“I’ve never been comfortable as an actor; I’ve never loved being in front of the camera,” Jolie said in an interview with Du Jour magazine.

 “I didn’t ever think I could direct, but I hope I’m able to have a career at it because I’m much happier.”

Jolie is currently promoting her new film, Unbroken, about Olympic runner and US airman Louis Zamperini, who spent 47 days living on a raft after a plane crash and survived two years as a Japanese prisoner of war. The 39-year-old actress made her directorial debut in 2007 with the documentary A Place in Time, followed up by the harrowing feature film In the Land of Blood and Honey in 2011 about the Bosnian war.

She recently signed up to direct Africa, a biopic of Kenyan politician and conservationist Richard Leakey.

Jolie said earlier this year that that her appearance as Cleopatra in an impending biopic of the Egyptian queen could be her final acting role.

“It's one of those [roles] that you think maybe that's the one you put everything into and that's where you end it, that's where you finish - in a great way. What could you do beyond that one?" she said, speaking to BBC Radio Five Live, in June.

Jolie, who met Zamperini shortly before his death at the age of 97 last year, fought to make the film, the rights of which were sold to Universal Pictures more than 50 years ago.

When the director told her husband, the actor Brad Pitt, that she was interested in the script, he said: “’Oh, honey, that project has been around forever.’ ”

Jolie said: “I fought for it for months... I felt I needed to go on that journey, that it would make me a better person if I could. I was begging not only to be the director— I was begging to have the opportunity to spend two years of my life focused on Louie Zamperini.”