Your Voice Your Vote 2024

Live results
Last Updated: April 23, 10:42:16PM ET

Angelina Jolie on Where the Action's At

In exclusive interview, megastar muses on art imitating life in new film.

ByABC News
July 9, 2010, 3:30 PM

July 12, 2010 -- -- She is one of the most beautiful and talked-about women in the world.

"Nightline" co-anchor Cynthia McFadden sat down Friday with Angelina Jolie in Washington, D.C., where she said she'd never wanted to be a Bond girl -- but she had always wanted to be Bond. She gets her chance in her new summer thriller, "Salt."

Jolie plays the tough-as-nails CIA agent Evelyn Salt. She's a spy -- but there's a catch. Are things what they seem, or is Evelyn Salt, CIA agent, actually part of a sleeper cell ... spying for Russia?

If the conceit sounds drawn from the news of day, it's just one more twist in the life of a star who never seems far from the spotlight.

"It's bizarre, isn't it?" said Jolie. "It's been so bizarre for us. ... I have two halves. You know, a part of me feels, as a citizen of a country, you think, 'I don't want anything to affect our new positive relationship with Russia.' And the other part of me is somebody who's in a film, thinks, 'My god, what timing.' And this is so strange, because all through making the film, there was a question of, 'Is it possible? Does it still exist today? Is it poignant? Is it relevant?'"

Jolie's role was originally created for Tom Cruise, who was to play a character called Edwin Salt. Then Jolie stepped in as Evelyn -- but none of the tough-guy punishment a male action hero would dish out was diluted.

McFadden asked her if in real life she'd ever made a fist and punched someone. "I have," Jolie said. She was a teenager.

"I did punch," Jolie said. "I think because I was so -- it was my first fight, you know? And you -- and you don't know what else to do. But you just want it to be, I don't know. You figure you better do it right the first time or they're gonna come back at you!"

But she added, "real fighting is so awkward and not cool at all."

In the movie, Jolie fights with the best of them. She even does her own stunts, some of which look awfully dangerous.

"Because I have six kids, I would never do something that could kill me," Jolie said. "But there were things that were -- I could have broken my arm or broken my leg, or that kind of thing."