Angelina Jolie's directing career is hers to lose.
She's only one movie in, and she's already being compared to...
"She is an actor's director," In the Land of Blood and Honey costar Rade Šerbedžija told me at the movie's Hollywood premiere. "She reminds me very much of Clint Eastwood. I told her that.
"Both of them are great actors and only greats actors have this kind of experience, so they know how to help and how to work with actors," he continued. "They know how to give them freedom and how it's important to do this."
Jolie said it "feels amazing" to hear such a comparison. Eastwood directed Jolie to critical acclaim and mucho award nominations, including an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA, for her work in 2008's The Changeling. He also interviewed her for the December-January issue of Interview magazine, on stands now.
"He is such a great leader," Jolie said. "He works with people that are talented people but also good people. There are no egos on set. It's really like a family."
Actress Vanessa Glodjo echoed Šerbedžija's praise. "I think every actor will be jealous of my experience," she told me. "She's a beautiful and brilliant actress, so she knew exactly how to help us get through this."
It certainly wasn't easy material. The movie, which Jolie also wrote, takes place during the Bosnian War in the 1990s. "It was such a horribly brutal conflict and people don't know enough about it and don't speak about it," Jolie said. "And the themes are universal and it could be any war and it's also representative of things happening today."
She was particularly awestruck by the artists who continued to work during the war. "They are a people that during a siege they started a film festival," she said. "They made art in order to survive and keep their heads up and keep their sanity. I feel that in this region particularly, art is a way of opening up discussion to toward healing."