Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie opens up about how motherhood changed her: ‘I had become the person that was always going to make everything OK’

Eternals stars Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek are opening up about motherhood.

During an interview with Extra to promote the Marvel film, the duo shared their thoughts on parenting. Jolie, 46, admitted that a scary moment with her eldest son, Maddox, made her realize the gravity of the role she had inhabited.

“I became a mother in my 20s. I remember something happened to Mad[dox] when he was little; it was an injury and I was terrified, and I heard myself say, ‘It’s gonna be fine, it’s gonna be fine, it’s gonna be OK’” she recalled. “I realized I had become the person that was always going to make everything OK, not the person that worries, that’s dramatic, that’s upset, that I have spent my whole life being in that darker space. It happens in a minute.”

Hayek added, “You will never be as vulnerable as you are when you have a child. Because of this, you have to be stronger than you have ever been.” The 55-year-old, who is mother to 14-year-old Valentina said, “You have to be respectful that they are an individual and finding that balance.”

Salma Hayek posed with daughter Valentina, 14, at the premiere of her latest film Eternals (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Lexus)

Both women recently made headlines when they brought their children to the Eternals premiere; Hayek posed side-by-side with Valentina and Jolie was surrounded by kids Maddox, 20; Vivienne, 13; Zahara, 16; Shiloh, 15; and Knox, 13. Zahara wore her mother’s dress from the 2014 Oscars to the event.

The actresses have both been open in the past about parenting, including Jolie, who is a contributing editor for TIME magazine. In an April 2020 newsletter, she wrote about how her past influenced her decision to be a parent.

“I was not a very stable youth,” she said. “In fact, I never thought I could be anyone’s mom. I remember the decision to become a parent. It wasn’t hard to love. It wasn’t hard to dedicate myself to someone and something greater than my life. What was hard was knowing that from now on I needed to be the one to make sure everything was OK.”

Hayek has also previously spoken about the importance of tuning into her maternal instincts.

“Feeling responsible helps you develop as a human being. It doesn’t have to be a sacrifice but an intention that you give of yourself, and contribute to another living being’s life,” she told Hola! magazine in May 2017. “That’s very rewarding. You learn a lot about yourself when you do something for someone else.”

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