Angelina Jolie Speaks Out Against Rumors Of Her Film's Cruel Auditioning Process

The Maleficent star is not happy with how her crew's being portrayed by the media.

In an interview with Vanity Fair—in which she also discussed her life after divorcing Brad Pitt—Angelina Jolie explained how she found the lead for her film First They Killed My Father. According to the magazine, the casting directors "set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away. The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie."

In the interview, Jolie states, "Srey Moch [the girl ultimately chosen for the part] was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time."

"When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back," she said. "When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn't have enough money for a nice funeral."

Understandably, many people were quick to criticize the actress for allegedly playing such a cruel game with children. As HuffPost noted, Twitter users called the auditioning process everything from "traumatizing" and "exploitative" to "deliberate emotional abuse."

However, Jolie's now hit back at all the hate, explaining that the auditions were not as mean-spirited as they were made out to be. "Every measure was taken to ensure the safety, comfort and well-being of the children on the film starting from the auditions through production to the present," she said in a statement to HuffPost, adding, "I am upset that a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film, has been written about as if it was a real scenario."

Jolie, 42, continued, "The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting. I would be outraged myself if this had happened."

Rithy Panh, a Cambodian filmmaker and producer for Jolie's film, backed the actress' statements, calling the entire media storm a "misunderstanding."

"Great care was taken with the children not only during auditions, but throughout the entirety of the film's making," he said in a statement obtained by HuffPost. "Because the memories of the genocide are so raw, and many Cambodians still have difficulty speaking about their experiences, a team of doctors and therapists worked with us on set every day so that anyone from the cast or crew who wanted to talk could do so."

Sounds like things weren't nearly as bad as they seemed.

While we wait for more Jolie news, catch up on all the times the actress scared us.