'Nightline' Exclusive: Angelina Jolie Rooting for Brad Pitt on Oscar Night

Oscar nominee on priorities, how her family influenced her "Changeling" role.

Feb. 3, 2009— -- A few things you might not know about Angelina Jolie: She introduces herself as Angie, she likes making movies more than watching them and, before too long, she might stop acting to be a mother who packs the school lunches for her six children.

She'll start to "step away from acting" to focus on her family, Jolie said during an interview in a Tokyo hotel room for "Nightline's" weeklong Oscar series.

"I don't want to wake up one day and say I had my career that expanded so much longer and I did that many more films and miss out on all those other things in life," she said.

Children are on her mind a lot. She has six kids, three of them adopted, with her mate, actor Brad Pitt. Her rapidly growing family has been the center of endless coverage by the tabloid and celebrity press.

Angie: Juggling Oscars and Being Mother of Jolie-Pitt Clan

At the moment, though, Jolie is one of the most adored actresses in the world, nominated for a best actress Oscar for her work in "The Changeling," the true story of a Los Angeles woman whose 9-year-old son was abducted in 1928.

Jolie plays Christine Collins, a single mother who confronted the police establishment that returned to her the wrong boy, claiming, over her protests, that she simply didn't recognize her son after five months away. The police actually had Collins committed to a psychiatric hospital because she denied the boy was hers.

The 33-year-old Jolie said she almost didn't take the part.

"I said I wanted to stay away from it because I couldn't sleep the night I read it, just the thought of anything happening to my kids is something I didn't want to think about," she said.

An hour before the "Nightline" interview, she had appeared at a news conference in a body-fitting silver dress that shimmered under the flash of hundreds of Japanese media cameras.

Before talking to "Nightline," she had packed her bags for a trip to Thailand and changed into a more relaxed black knit dress. For someone who is the focus of so much prying into her personal life, she is easy and candid, often mentioning her family.

Jolie: Family First, Films Fourth

Jolie said she agreed to do "Changeling" because the character was "this real woman who went through this. Even when she suffered the most horrible loss, she continued to fight for other women's rights."

Jolie said if it had been her, she wouldn't have been bullied for a moment by the police. But then, in response to a joke, she admitted she probably would have taken the boy home anyway. "Yeah, I'd probably take him home," she said, laughing. "I'd adopt him."

Her acting is a mix of the personal and professional. She injects herself into her parts and comes away with some of the characters embedded with her.

She said her own late mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, was the inspiration for how she played Collins. "She was just kind to everybody and never wanted to fight," Jolie said. "And, yet, when it came to protecting her children or doing anything in defense of her children, she was very, very strong. And that's Christine to me."

As for her Oscar nomination, Jolie said that "it's lovely to be nominated" and she feels lucky to have won in the past, for her role in "Girl, Interrupted."

"I feel, for an actress, if you've ever done that in your career, it's nice," she said. "Many people have had great careers and never won. I think you have to have your head around you to understand what certain things are, as much as they're nice ... it shouldn't make you feel differently about your work."

And, come Oscar night, she said, "I'm rooting for Brad," who was nominated for best actor in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

She said she doesn't go out of her way to watch her own movies, and some of them she has never watched.

"No, I just, I don't really like to watch movies," she said, laughing. "I love to watch Brad's movies."

Now, in the spotlight of an Oscar nomination, she said acting is not the focus of her life. "I'd say kids first, kids, woman to Brad and then my work internationally and being a kind of ... trying to educate myself and trying to learn about the world and ... trying to do some good things while I'm alive," she said.

Laughing, again, she said, "Then, so what is that, fourth?