Stone turned to Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie after casting Colin Farrell. A fan of Angelina's since her starring role in "Gia," Stone believed Jolie had that certain something that was necessary to make audiences understand the powerful woman behind the leader. "A lot of modern actresses play the polite middle, but with Angelina, you have more of the Bette Davis tradition. She goes for it in a strong, determined way, and it's rare to see that with young actors," explains Stone.
INTERVIEW WITH ANGELINA JOLIE ('Olympias'):
How difficult was portraying Olympias in "Alexander?"
It was probably the hardest thing Ive ever done. The complexity of the character... Was I going over the top? Was I making it real? Everything about her from the way that she walked to the way that she spoke. Everything about her had to be correct.
How do you define the appeal of Colin Farrell?
He is a real guy. Hes a real man and I think we dont have a lot of men today. (Laughing) But you know its true. He really does break a mold and I think thats so important. He is his own man. Hes also really wild and uninhibited and free and bold but hes not out to get anybody. Thats why all the men were happy to follow him into battle and were rooting for him, because he is a good guy.
Youve said that you have to love every character you play. What did you love about Olympias?
She lived during a time when women had no rights. She was taken from her home. Her land was conquered and she was taken as a wife. And then she was abused in that relationship. And somehow that woman through her Gods and her snakes and her beliefs, found a power and strength. And through her son, made him powerful and saved her own life and saved his.
How much of this character is you and how much are you like this character?
I think if I lived in that time I would have been similar to her. I put myself very much in the situation that if I felt my son had to be that strong in order to not be killed and not be exiled, Id be pretty tough. So I identified with her.
Youve played so many strong women characters. What was different about Olympias?
Not just because I age through it, but she really is the deepest character Ive ever played. Theres a wisdom and an age and a depth and a strength to her that very much belongs to the woman Ive become in the last few years. Theres nothing young about her. Its everything heavy that Ive done or seen.
And working with the snakes? Was that extremely difficult for you?
(Laughing) You know, at first it was a little overwhelming because there was so many of them. But I loved them. I think it really helped me in my performance.
When you first found out youd be playing Colin Farrells mom at some point in the film, what did you think?
I think I felt like everybody else. I wasnt sure how that was going to work. I met with Oliver and Colin and we all kind of said, Were either going to be criticized and attacked for this, or its right and it should happen. So we took a really big chance. But I think seeing us separately, he fits Alexander and I fit Olympias and somehow together we became mother and son.
What was the biggest challenge of being in a movie of this scale?
Just finding the subtleties. Youre doing a period piece and doing an extreme character, aging, and accents and high emotions theres such an easy tendency to go over the top and make a caricature of the person. So to just keep it subtle and find her heart and her reality [was a challenge].
You and Colin appear to have great chemistry on and off-screen.
Were great friends. We get along real well. We understand each other.
Is it still bizarre to attend premieres like this one and have fans screaming for you - even a fan trying to get your attention by using a bullhorn?
It is a bit bizarre. I dont take it really seriously. Its all a part of the film.