Angelina Jolie disputes Vanity Fair's depiction of her 'disturbing' child auditions

Angelina Jolie is disputing Vanity Fair's depiction of how children were treated in Cambodia during auditions for her upcoming film adaptation First They Killed My Father. After Vanity Fair published that casting directors were playing a game "rather disturbing in its realism" with potential child actors, Jolie responded saying that the story did not clearly describe what was a "pretend exercise in an improvisation."

Vanity Fair contributing editor Evgenia Peretz wrote that casting directors played a game where they placed money in front of children and asked them to think of something they needed it for, and then "snatched it away" from them. When one girl (Srey Moch, who was chosen for a role in the film) was forced to give the money back, Jolie teared up while saying that the girl later expressed that she would have used the money to have a nice funeral for her grandfather.

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Actress Angelina Jolie (L) and Cambodian-born American human rights activist and lecturer Loung Ung laugh as they arrive for a news conference at a hotel in Siem Reap province, Cambodia, February 18, 2017. REUTERS/Samrang Pring TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Actress Angelina Jolie arrives for a news conference at a hotel in Siem Reap province, Cambodia, February 18, 2017. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
Actress Angelina Jolie (L) and Cambodian-born American human-rights activist and lecturer Loung Ung greet as they arrive for a news conference at hotel in Siem Reap province, Cambodia, February 18, 2017. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
Actress Angelina Jolie (C) attends a news conference at a hotel in Siem Reap province, Cambodia, February 18, 2017. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
Cambodian Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeung Sackona (Front R), Hollywood star Angelina Jolie (2nd-R) and her children listen to Cambodian national anthem during the the premiere of Jolie's new film 'First They Killed My Father' at the Elephant Terrace inside the Angkor park in Siem Reap on February 18, 2017. Angelina Jolie unveiled her new film on the horrors of the Khmer Rouge era on Saturday at the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, a country the star shares a deep affinity with through her adopted son Maddox. / AFP / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie (1st-L) speaks as her children and actors of her new film stand on a stage during the premiere of Jolie's new film 'First They Killed My Father' at the Elephant Terrace inside the Angkor park in Siem Reap on February 18, 2017. Angelina Jolie unveiled her new film on the horrors of the Khmer Rouge era on Saturday at the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, a country the star shares a deep affinity with through her adopted son Maddox. / AFP / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni (L) gives flowers to Hollywood star Angelina Jolie (R) during the premiere of Jolie's new film 'First They Killed My Father' at the Elephant Terrace inside the Angkor park in Siem Reap on February 18, 2017. Angelina Jolie unveiled her new film on the horrors of the Khmer Rouge era on Saturday at the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, a country the star shares a deep affinity with through her adopted son Maddox. / AFP / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie (L) walks past Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni (C) and former queen Monique (R) during the premiere of Jolie's new film 'First They Killed My Father' at the Elephant Terrace inside the Angkor park in Siem Reap on February 18, 2017. Angelina Jolie unveiled her new film on the horrors of the Khmer Rouge era on Saturday at the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, a country the star shares a deep affinity with through her adopted son Maddox. / AFP / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie (R) pays respect to Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni (2nd-L) as former queen Monique (1st-L) looks on during the premiere of Jolie's new film 'First They Killed My Father' at the Elephant Terrace inside the Angkor park in Siem Reap on February 18, 2017. Angelina Jolie unveiled her new film on the horrors of the Khmer Rouge era on Saturday at the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, a country the star shares a deep affinity with through her adopted son Maddox. / AFP / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie (C) and Maddox Jolie-Pitt (R) pay their respects to Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni (L) during an audience at the royal residence in Siem Reap on February 18, 2017. Angelina Jolie will unveil her new film on the horrors of the Khmer Rouge era on February 18 at the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, a country the star shares a deep affinity with through her adopted son Maddox. / AFP / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Maddox Jolie-Pitt (C) greets Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni (L) as Hollywood star Angelina Jolie (R) looks on during an audience at the royal residence in Siem Reap on February 18, 2017. Angelina Jolie will unveil her new film on the horrors of the Khmer Rouge era on February 18 at the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, a country the star shares a deep affinity with through her adopted son Maddox. / AFP / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie (3rd R) attends an audience with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni (R) as her children look on at the royal residence in Siem Reap on February 18, 2017. Angelina Jolie will unveil her new film on the horrors of the Khmer Rouge era on February 18 at the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, a country the star shares a deep affinity with through her adopted son Maddox. / AFP / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA - FEBRUARY 18: Angelina Jolie talks to press during a press conference ahead of the premiere of her new movie 'First They Killed My Father' set up at the Raffles Grand Hotel D'Angkor on February 18, 2017 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Angelina Jolie is in Siem Reap for the world premiere of her new movie, 'First They Killed my Father,' a Netflix-produced adaption of the autobiography by the same name penned by Loung Ung, who lived through the Khmer Rouge regime as a young child. The film will be screened Saturday night in the Angkor Wat temple complex, and released later this year on Netflix. (Photo by Omar Havana/Getty Images)
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie (R) pays her respects during an audience with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni (L) at the royal residence in Siem Reap on February 18, 2017. Angelina Jolie will unveil her new film on the horrors of the Khmer Rouge era on February 18 at the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, a country the star shares a deep affinity with through her adopted son Maddox. / AFP / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA - FEBRUARY 18: Angelina Jolie (right) talks to actress Sareum Srey Moch (left) during a press conference ahead of the premiere of their new movie 'First They Killed My Father' set up at the Raffles Grand Hotel D'Angkor on February 18, 2017 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Angelina Jolie is in Siem Reap for the world premiere of her new movie, 'First They Killed my Father,' a Netflix-produced adaption of the autobiography by the same name penned by Loung Ung, who lived through the Khmer Rouge regime as a young child. The film will be screened Saturday night in the Angkor Wat temple complex, and released later this year on Netflix. (Photo by Omar Havana/Getty Images)
SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA - FEBRUARY 18: Angelina Jolie (left) and producer Rithy Panh (center) chat with actors before holding a press conference ahead of the premiere of their new film 'First They Killed My Father' set up at the Raffles Grand Hotel D'Angkor on February 18, 2017 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Angelina Jolie is in Siem Reap for the world premiere of her new movie, 'First They Killed my Father,' a Netflix-produced adaption of the autobiography by the same name penned by Loung Ung, who lived through the Khmer Rouge regime as a young child. The film will be screened Saturday night in the Angkor Wat temple complex, and released later this year on Netflix. (Photo by Omar Havana/Getty Images)
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie (C) speaks as Cambodian film maker Rithy Panh (L) looks on at a hotel in Siem Reap on February 18, 2017. Angelina Jolie will unveil her new film on the horrors of the Khmer Rouge era on February 18 at the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, a country the star shares a deep affinity with through her adopted son Maddox. / AFP / TANG CHHIN SOTHY (Photo credit should read TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP/Getty Images)
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie (3rd L) and her children including Maddox Jolie-Pitt (C) gesture to media in front of the royal residence for a meeting with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni in Siem Reap on February 18, 2017. Angelina Jolie will unveil her new film on the horrors of the Khmer Rouge era on February 18 at the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, a country the star shares a deep affinity with through her adopted son Maddox. / AFP / TANG CHHIN SOTHY (Photo credit should read TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP/Getty Images)
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie speaks to media during a press conference at a hotel in Siem Reap on February 18, 2017. Angelina Jolie will unveil her new film on the horrors of the Khmer Rouge era on February 18 at the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, a country the star shares a deep affinity with through her adopted son Maddox. / AFP / TANG CHHIN SOTHY (Photo credit should read TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP/Getty Images)
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Jolie and her crew reportedly looked at "orphanages, circuses, and slum schools, specifically seeking children who had experienced hardship." Peretz also wrote that the director would pretend to catch a child, and the child would have to think of a lie.

In a statement to The Huffington Post, Jolie said that casting directors were that all necessary precautions were taken to make sure children were taken care of on set.

"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," said Jolie. "Parents, guardians, partner NGOs whose job it is to care for children, and medical doctors were always on hand everyday, to ensure everyone had all they needed. And above all to make sure that no one was in any way hurt by participating in the recreation of such a painful part of their country's history."

Jolie added that she was "upset" at Vanity Fair's description of her audition exercises and expressed that real money was not taken from children during the auditions.

Read more: Angelina Jolie Talks Brad Pitt, Bell's Palsy in 'Vanity Fair' Cover Story

"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," said Jolie. "The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is and upsetting. I would be outraged myself if this had happened. The point of this film is to bring attention to the horrors children face in war, and to help fight to protect them."

First They Killed My Father is Loung Ung's 2000 memoir of the Khmer Rouge genocide. The Netflix original film was shot in Cambodia and Jolie's son Maddox was one of her children who had an active role on set.

Read the full statement from Jolie to Huffington Post below:

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. Parents, guardians, partner NGOs whose job it is to care for children, and medical doctors were always on hand everyday, to ensure everyone had all they needed. And above all to make sure that no one was in any way hurt by participating in the recreation of such a painful part of their country's history.

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

The point of this film is to bring attention to the horrors children face in war, and to help fight to protect them."

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