Things you probably didn’t know about the actors in ‘Maleficent’

maleficent press event

Disney’s latest feature film Maleficent flies into theaters this weekend, and if the early reviews are to be believed, then we’ll only be slightly spellbound. However, fans will no doubt still flock to the big screen to watch this interesting take on Disney’s beloved Sleeping Beauty story (which was also adapted from another French story by Charles Perrault).

Ahead of the weekend release, we’ve collected some interesting facts about some of the key actors of this film.

Angelina Jolie – A special envoy for refugee issues

angelina jolie

UNHCR/K.McKinsey

The fact that Angelina Jolie (who plays Maleficent) has been heavily involved with The UN Refugee Agency for the past decade or so is not necessarily a surprising fact for most. However, it’s also one of the many parts of Jolie that we don’t normally talk about. Her interest in humanitarian affairs reportedly was piqued in 2000 while in Cambodia, filming for Tomb Raider. In 2001, she was named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, and in 2012 High Commissioner António Guterres recognized her years of service by appointing her as his Special Envoy, where she focuses on larger-scale crises resulting in mass population displacement. I’m sure knowing this fact about Jolie helps you to understand part of her reasons for adopting ethnic children.

Elle Fanning – Marilyn Monroe’s biggest fan

elle fanning marilyn monroe

At the age of 7, Elle Fanning (who plays Princess Aurora) dressed up as Marilyn Monroe for Halloween. Additionally, her grandmother reportedly spent $600 at an auction to buy Monroe’s old cream container for Elle. She also has two Marilyn Monroe barbiesDiamond’s Are a Girl’s Best Friend and Seven Year Itch. In an interview with Elle Magazine, she says:

I saw the ‘Seven Year Itch’ when I was seven. At that time, she was the most beautiful person. She’s definitely one of my role models – even though her life was so tragic. As I got older, I researched her more. A lot of bad things happened to her. She was really strong. She put up with a lot. And she made it into something good. She became an icon.

Sharlto Copley – South African bonds

sharlto copley

source: metro.us

When he was 22, Sharlto Copley (Stefan in Maleficent) met director/animator Neill Blomkamp (who was 16 years old at the time), also a fellow South African. Their collaboration on the movie District 9 in 2009 proved to be a milestone for both men, since the movie captured the attention of both Hollywood and the media. Since then Copley went on to star alongside Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper in The A-Team as Murdock, and as Adrian in Oldboy (bonus read: Spike Lee has a lawsuit filed against him.) Copley reportedly resides both in Los Angeles and Cape Town alternately.

 

Brenton Thwaites – Australian newbie

brenton thwaites

Blue Lagoon: The Awakening

If you haven’t heard of Brenton Thwaites (Prince Phillip) before Maleficent, that’s probably because he’s only been acting since 2010 in Australia, primarily in TV series. But you may want to know his name soon, because his future projects has him alongside some more powerful Hollywood personalities, like Alexander Skarsgård and Meryl Streep in the upcoming book-based film The Giver.

 

Kenneth Cranham – Theater-trained Scottish

Hellbound: Hellraiser II

Hellbound: Hellraiser II

While Kenneth Cranham (King Henry) has held roles and bits in a long list of movies and TV shows, he was originally trained in theater at National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art). Cranham is known for movies like Hellbound: Hellraiser II as Dr. Philip Channard and the TV series Rome as Pompey Magnus.

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Rocky Vy
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<a href="http://www.artofonline.com">Digital marketing consultant</a> by trade, a freelance writer by passion. Also, anything that involves innovative tech, fashion, entrepreneurialism, Pantone 021C and pandas are cool, too. Follow him <a href="http://www.twitter.com/rockyvy">@rockyvy</a>.