After catching the directing bug, Jolie surprisingly revealed that she’d considered quitting acting altogether.
“Acting helped me as I was growing up. It helped me learn about myself, helped me travel, helped me understand life, express myself, all those wonderful things,” she told Vanity Fair in 2010. However, she added, “But I don’t think I’ll do it much longer.”
During an interview with DuJour four years later, Jolie explained that she simply felt much more artistically fulfilled when directing. “I’ve never been comfortable as an actor; I’ve never loved being in front of the camera,” she said. “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.”
Ultimately, directing had offered the actress a newfound sense of purpose in her work. “Directing is very different from acting because it takes more than two years of your life,” Jolie said, explaining that she was “absolutely” sure in her resolve to focus more on film-making in the future. “So it has to matter — really matter — in a different way.”