She’s returning to the big screen. Angelina Jolie’s highly anticipated new movie, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, will be hitting theaters on Friday, October 18, and she opened up about reprising her role in a candid new interview. The actress revealed that she had to look inward to find “strength” to portray her character again after going through a tumultuous few years.

“It was a tough time,” Angelina, 44, revealed to PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I’d been coming off a few years of difficulty, and I was not feeling very strong. In fact, I was feeling pretty broken. It took me a moment to feel the strength of [Maleficent] again.”

Angelina Jolie is Maleficent
Courtesy of Disney

As fans may recall, the Oscar-winning star filed for divorce from Brad Pitt in 2016, citing “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for their split. Angelina and her famous ex share six children together, Maddox Jolie-Pitt, 18, Pax Jolie-Pitt, 15, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, 14, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, 13, as well as the twins, Knox Jolie-Pitt and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, both 11.

Angelina’s daughter Vivienne previously appeared in the original Maleficent film, but this time she opted out. When asked if her kids were featured in the sequel, the actress dished, “I tried,” she admitted. “Viv still can’t believe I made her a princess. None of my kids want to be actors. [They’re into] business, humanitarian affairs, things like that. Nobody was interested!”

Luckily, several of the star’s kids did show up to her red carpet event for the movie in London on October 9. Vivienne, Zahara, Shiloh and Knox were all smiles while posing for photos with their mom, who wowed in a stunning white gown with gold accents.

Pax Jolie Pitt, Shiloh Jolie Pitt, Vivienne Jolie Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Zahara Jolie Pitt and Knox Jolie Pitt Maleficent Mistress of Evil Film Premiere
Matt Baron/Shutterstock

Just a few weeks ago, Angelina shared more details about how she coped with her public split. “I didn’t recognize myself anymore,” she revealed while chatting with French magazine Madame Figaro. The actress confessed that she felt like she “lost” herself a bit when she knew that her “relationship with Brad was coming to an end.”

“It was a complicated moment, when I did not recognize myself anymore where I had become … how to say … smaller, as insignificant, even if it was not necessarily obvious,” Angelina said. “I felt a deep and real sadness, I was hurt.”

Nowadays, the actress said she’s happily “in a period of transition, like a homecoming, a return to myself.”

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