Angelina Jolie is the kind of A-list actor who’s been in the business for ages, and she owes that lengthy success to a few different aspects of who she is as a person. Along with being a talented, award-winning performer who has taken on a range of different roles throughout the years, Jolie is also a captivating character in real life. For instance, as fans will know, the star has navigated some of the most buzz-worthy relationships in Hollywood, including her often over-the-top marriage to Billy Bob Thornton as well as her divorce from Brad Pitt. Her past also includes a history of acting in, er, unexpected (and sometimes downright scary) ways.
At the same time, Jolie has also been through stunning (if not totally shocking) changes in various areas of her life while existing in the spotlight. And yet, with every incarnation of this particular celebrity, she not only stays true to who she is at the time and who she wants to be in the future, but she also manages to continue to intrigue her fans.
That’s why Jolie’s gorgeous transformation has been (and probably always will be) turning heads.
Angelina Jolie had a very ’80s vibe when she was young
Angelina Jolie (or, rather, Angelina Jolie Voight) was born on June 4, 1975, in Los Angeles, California, to actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. With two parents who were in show business, Jolie was introduced to the entertainment industry at a young age.
In fact, in 1986, Jolie accompanied her father to a red carpet event. “Angelina looked so stunning as she attended the 1986 Oscars alongside her family as just a preteen,” Closer Weekly noted while looking back at the future star’s young style. “The brunette beauty looked super cute as she wore a white lace ensemble.”
While that might make it seem like Jolie was wearing a sweet and simple ensemble, even then she was showing signs of her super-stylish ways. That’s because she opted for a dress that boasted full sleeves and a somewhat oversized collar, as well as a long string of pearls. The entire thing was very era-appropriate and Madonna-esque in a child-friendly way. And it was a vibe that she’d morph into another edgy vibe as she got a little older.
PVC pants were Angelina Jolie’s favorite during her early 20s
Since Angelina Jolie’s parents were both actors, it’s likely not surprising to find out that even when she was younger, she had her own performing aspirations. “She began acting at a young age, studying at the Lee Strasberg Theater Insтιтute while in her early teens” before attending New York University, according to Biography.
Jolie opened up to Harper’s Bazaar about both her life and style at the time, saying, “At school I wasn’t that popular person; I was a punk. I loved leather, PVC, and fishnets. Those were my three favorite fabrics in my early 20s.” She went on to recall “the first time [she] wore PVC pants,” saying, “I was waiting for an audition, sitting in the sun in L.A. By the time it was my turn, my pants had fused together. I didn’t get the part. But I loved those pants.”
Jolie continued by noting, “I wore something similar when I married Jonny [Lee Miller].” Speaking of her aesthetic while married to her Hackers co-star…
Angelina Jolie went from cyberpunk to Morticia Addams
While Angelina Jolie scored various relatively minor roles during the early ’90s, many fans first fell in love with her when she popped up to play Kate Libby, a cyber-savvy and style-savvy NYC high school student, in 1995’s Hackers (alongside Jonny Lee Miller). In fact, the movie made her an “accidental style icon,” according to Garage. “When it came to Kate’s style, costume designer Roger K. Burton … describes wanting Jolie to look like an ‘androgynous tomboy, kinda tough but chic.’” That resulted in “vintage fencing outfits, Quiksilver surf tops, 1970s racing jackets, old Vivienne Westwood pieces …, and even a New Jersey Devils hockey jersey.” Of course, there was also her on-point “signature pixie cut” and “the silver armor ring by Chicago-based brand Marché Noir, which was so prominent in the movie that it could have been a member of the Hackers gang itself.”
Soon after, Jolie “gave a star-making performance in the 1998 television film Gia, based on the short, tragic life of model Gia Marie Carangi, for which she won a best actress Golden Globe,” Biography noted. For the film, the actor traded in her cyberpunk style for a mix of super glam and leather.
By 1999, Jolie co-starred in Girl, Interrupted “as the rebellious member of a group of insтιтutionalized teenagers,” which saw her earn an Oscar and show up to the ceremony looking like a stunning Morticia Addams. But the changes didn’t stop there.
Tattoos that are as beautiful as their meaning
While Angelina Jolie’s style has always included a range of hairstyles and outfits, she’s also used tattoos to define herself. Along with getting body art that represents relationships — such as her former marriage to Brad Pitt and her connection to her children — Jolie has chosen designs that are meaningful in other ways.
“I have a tattoo, ‘A prayer for the wild at heart kept in cages.’ I got it when I was 20,” the star told Harper’s Bazaar. Saying that she was with her mom at the time, Jolie said that she “was feeling lost” and “restless,” and admitted, “I still am.” Jolie recalled, “We were driving to dinner, and she talked about spending time with Tennessee Williams and how much she loved his words. She told me he wrote that, about the wild at heart.” After that, the pair “drove to a tattoo parlor, and I got it inked on my left arm.”
Although that may have been a spontaneous decision, Jolie explained, “What she did for me that night was to remind me that the wild within me is alright and a part of me.” In turn, the actress said, “I see so much beauty in other people. Not when they are pretending to be something other than their true selves. Not when they are harming others. Not when they lie. But the wild ones. The emotional, open, searching ones, longing to be free. The honest ones. Because anything else is a cage impossible to live in.”
Angelina Jolie took maternity style to another level
Angelina Jolie had to, understandably, make some minor adjustments to her style while pregnant. And considering the fact that her aesthetic choices in the past have sometimes been debatable (depending on your preferences), it might not surprise you to find out that her decisions when it came to maternity fashion have been called everything from “classic,” per People, to what Marie Claire deemed was simply “strange.”
Whatever you think of what Jolie opted to wear while carrying three out of her six children (during two pregnancies), each outfit was certainly noteworthy. For instance, there was the Reem Acra empire-waist maxi dress that she showed up in for the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards in Washington D.C. back in 2008. And then there was the green Max Azria gown that she wore to the premiere of Kung Fu Panda at Cannes that same year. Frankly, Page Six Style deemed the latter dress to be one of the “best celebrity maternity style moments of all time.”
While Jolie certainly created just as much buzz with her pregnancy outfits as she has with all of her other style choices, she also went through other physical changes throughout the years.
Angelina Jolie’s ‘body has been through a lot’
Angelina Jolie’s career hasn’t slowed down as she’s gotten older, and neither have the changes in both her personal life or her style. While moving on to roles like 2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith, 2007’s A Mighty Heart, and 2014’s Maleficent, the actor has settled into a classic movie star aesthetic. Gone are the days of wild outfits and edgy hairstyles — instead, Jolie has embraced calm coiffures and gorgeous gowns. Even when she’s dressing on the casual side, she opts for a much more toned-down version of what she once wore.
Beyond that, Jolie acknowledges what she’s been through both on the inside and outside. “My body has been through a lot over the past decade, particularly the past four years, and I have both the visible and invisible scars to show for it. The invisible ones are harder to wrestle with,” she told Harper’s Bazaar in 2019. (In 2013, she wrote a powerful essay in The New York Times detailing her preventative double mastectomy.) Adding that “life takes many turns,” you can certainly see that’s true when you take a look at Jolie’s transformation over the years.