Angelina Jolie on overcoming adversity: 'What does not kill you makes you stronger'

‘Our experiences, good and bad, make us who we are’

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The Independent Online

Angelina Jolie, who recently spoke publicly of her decision to have her ovaries removed as a preventative measure against cancer, has said that she believes in the old saying, “What does not kill you makes you stronger”.

In an interview with Elle, the Unbroken director said “we gain strength and maturity” by overcoming difficulties.

“Our experiences, good and bad, make us who we are,” she said.

Unbroken documents the fight for survival of Louis Zamperini, the American Olympic runner who survived on a raft for 47 days before being captured and becoming a prisoner of war in Japan during WWII.

 

Jolie said Zamperini’s story is about the capacity of regular men and women to rise above adversity and serves as a reminder to never give up.

The actress, director and Goodwill Ambassador for the UN, recently wrote a piece for The New York Times on her decision to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as a preventative measure due to her high risk of developing cancer, which forced her body into the menopause.

Jolie carries the BRCA1 gene, which increases the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Jolie’s grandmother, mother and aunt had died from cancer, and the actress said she had a 50 per cent chance of developing ovarian cancer. Her estimated 87 per cent chance of developing breast cancer had informed her decision to have a preventative double mastectomy two years ago.

Jolie made her first public appearance after her recent surgery at the Nickelodeon Awards, to receive the villain award for her role in Maleficent.

On receiving her award, she told the teen audience that being “different” is good.

“When I was little, like Maleficent, I was told that I was different.

“And I felt out of place — too loud, too full of fire, never good at sitting still, never good at fitting in.

“And, then one day I realized something, something that I hope you all realize: Different is good.

“And, as your villain, I would also say: cause a little trouble - it's good for you.”

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