Angelina Jolie previously collaborated with Colin Farrell in Oliver Stone’s Alexander. Jolie reacted passionately and unexpectedly to her co-star during a frightening scene while filming with Farrell.

Angelina Jolie originally thought being cast in ‘Alexander’ was ‘ridiculous’

Jolie’s casting in Stone’s 2004 film raised a few eyebrows. As the title suggests, Alexander was Stone’s take on the mythical conqueror Alexander the Great’s story. Colin Farrell was cast in the title role, and Jolie was cast as his mother, Queen Olympias.

However, the age gap between the two co-stars caused some to question the casting decision, as Jolie was just 10 months older than Farrell. Jolie was likewise perplexed by the idea of playing Farrell’s mother. Nonetheless, she was eventually persuaded to appear in the film.

“At first, I thought [playing Colin Farrell’s mother at 29] was as ridiculous as everybody else did,” she once said according to Campus Circle. “I think, [only after] meeting with Colin and Oliver, and really talking about it – I [then] identified with her.”

Jolie asserted that Stone felt she was too ideal for the character of Queen Olympias for age to be a factor.

“Oliver cast people who he felt [best] represented the characters. I think he felt that I understood Olympias,” she continued. “He didn’t get stuck on the [chronologies]. I mean, you meet her when [Alexander’s] 6. When Colin and I are seen together, he’s playing 19 and I’m playing 35. There maybe wasn’t a perfect age for her because she had to be [consistently aged] across the board.

Angelina Jolie lost her temper and spit in Colin Farrell’s face out of anger in ‘Alexander’

When it came to playing the historical conqueror, Jolie believed Colin Farrell was the only actor who could pull it off. This was due to Farrell’s belief that portraying Alexander required a common man’s quality.

“Because he is the everyman, he supports other people, he loves the guys he worked with, he was their best buddy, they would have followed him into battle, and they would follow him anywhere now if he asked them. He comes from a very good place,” Jolie once said according to Black Film. “He doesn’t need to be the centre. He’s not arrogant, he’s not selfish. He’s a really hardworking, wild free-spirited person. It looks like when he gives the speeches as Alexander you just kind of feel he can inspire a group of people.”

Working with Colin Farrell on the project also managed to stir some very real feelings in Jolie. There’s a scene in Alexander where Jolie’s character ends up spitting at Farrell during a heated argument. But the Oscar-winner shared the spit wasn’t scripted, and it was Jolie’s genuine response to Farrell.

“That was improvised. That just happened. And me spitting on him just happened. It was when they were fighting and it actually came out of him disrespecting her. In fact, it was a crass thing and it angered me,” she revealed.

The improvisation would remain in the film.

What Colin Farrell thought about working with Angelina Jolie

Farrell recognized Jolie’s reservations about playing his mother in Alexander. However, he believed that her performance would overshadow their actual age gap. According to Farrell, the Salt Star was a joy to watch and learn from.

Colin Farrell

“Once you get over the initial hurdle of the irony of it all it’s fine. She’s such a f***ing brilliant actor; such a powerhouse. She created such a definitive character and put such an incredible and individual seal on it. To look in her eyes and see the way she looked and the way she held herself, with such regality, it was easy. I didn’t find it a stretch,” Colin Farrell said in a 2004 interview with IGN.