Angelina Jolie: ‘Salt’ has potential for franchise

  • Published : Jul 28, 2010 - 22:09
  • Updated : Jul 28, 2010 - 22:09
Hollywood’s highest paid actress Angelina Jolie dropped by Korea for the first time to promote “Salt” on Wednesday -- her latest slam-bang espionage thriller that she said has the potential to become a franchise if the film scores big at the box office.

“We’re leaving it up to the fans,” Jolie said during a news conference in Seoul Wednesday as part of a promotional tour for the Phillip Noyce-directed film.

“If the people want another one, certainly we’ll give it to them.”

With an ending that leaves the story of a Russian double agent working for the CIA wide open, speculation about a sequel has been going around the rumor mill.

Angelina Jolie poses for photographers Wednesday during the promotional press briefing for her latest film, the espionage thriller “Salt,” at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul.

                                                                                                      Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald

“I would love to revisit the role because we think there’s a lot more to the story,” she said.

“But we don’t know where we’ll go yet. We’ve talked about more exotic locations for one.”

With the film scoring an impressive debut on July 23 with $36 million in its first weekend of release, a sequel is very likely as long as the film has legs at the box office.

Although critical reception has been mixed, response from moviegoers has been positive, highlighting Jolie’s convincing turn as a battle-hardened super spy accused of trying to assassinate the American president.

After having scored a gold mine with the action genre through her previous films such as the “Tomb Raider” franchise, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and “Wanted,” Jolie has become Tinseltown’s most bankable leading lady, commanding a reported $20 million a picture.

On top of her label as one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood, she is also widely considered to be the sexiest woman in the world.

Wearing a sleek black dress during her press briefing with Korean reporters, she said “I think you feel sexy if you live an honest and bold life. Maybe living life the way I’ve always lived it had something to do with that, but really, what makes me feel sexy is Brad. He always makes me feel sexy and desirable.”

Over the years, much has been said about her eccentricities ranging from her odd relationships with her brother, her estranged father and Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight, and her troubled union with hipster redneck, actor Billy Bob Thornton. But in recent times she has been more known for her philanthropy and focus on rearing her adopted children.

“I’m fortunate enough to work just a few months out of the year and I have the luxury of having Brad help out as well,” she said.

“I have so much respect for everyday parents. For me and the best thing to do for myself is to combine my work and my children as much as possible.”

“For example, my children are here (in Korea) enjoying their time, enjoying their Korean breakfast, watching baseball over their hotel windows, and playing in the swimming pool.”

Culling her philanthropist/humanitarian persona, Jolie spoke about her courtesy call with representatives of the Korean branch of the UNHCR (The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) just before the start of the day’s press conference.

She said she learned much about the situation in North Korea and the recent tension between the two countries in the aftermath of the Cheonan sinking.

But even with such hostilities between the two governments, she said the UNHCR representatives informed her of the support the South has been providing the North as well as the granting of South Korean citizenship to defectors from the North.

Since 2001, Jolie has been a Goodwill Ambassador with the United Nations agency which protects and supports refugees and assists in their repatriation to a third country.

As a special envoy, Angelina Jolie has visited more than 20 countries around the world to spotlight the struggle of uprooted refugees.

Jolie also said she and her children love Korean singer and actor Rain, who played a lead role in the Hollywood action movie "Ninja Assassin."

"You can confirm that," she said . "The children are interested, and the mom thinks he's cool, also."

“Salt” opens nationwide July 29.

By Song Woong-ki  (kws@heraldcorp.com)