The superstar plays the Sleeping Beauty villainess in the new movie, which topped the box office in both the U.S. and U.K. following its release last month, and the family film features a disturbing scene in which the lead character has her fairy wings torn off by a childhood friend.
Jolie, who launched a summit in London this week to stop sex crimes in war zones, has now explained the wing-tearing scene is actually a metaphor for rape.
"It was beautifully written... and there was the question... and of course it's a Disney movie... but in essence the question was asked,'What could make a woman become so dark and lose all sense of her maternity and her womanhood and her softness?' " Jolie said in an interview with BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour show. "And something would have to be so violent and so aggressive. And so of course, for us, we were very conscious, the writer (Linda Woolverton) and I, that it was a metaphor for rape. And that this would be the thing that would make her lose sight of that...
"It is an extreme Disney, fun version of it but at the core, it is abuse and how the abused then have a choice of either abusing others or overcoming and remaining loving, open people."