Angelina Jolie Dishes On Her 'Private Self'

'Maybe that's why I liked it so much, getting to play this character,' she tells MTV News of her complex 'Salt' role.

The action/thriller [movie id="376997"]"Salt"[/movie] finds Angelina Jolie in a near-constant state of flux: first blond, then brunet; one minute a loyal CIA agent, the next on the run as an accused Russian spy.

"Maybe that's why I liked it so much, getting to play this character," she told MTV News recently. "I got to be all different people all the time. I think there is [a complex] element to all of us. That's why we like espionage."

A bit of complexity might be universal, but it's just that sort of ambiguity that scared studios off from the script for so many years. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura had been trying to sell the project as a Jason Bourne-style thriller to studios for years — for a while Tom Cruise was attached to star — but he couldn't get anyone to green-light the movie.

"One of the strengths of the movie is one of the things people were initially scared about, which is you don't know at times if you should root for or against her," di Bonaventura told us. "The script does not follow conventional rules."

Eventually, di Bonaventura switched gears entirely, re-conceiving Salt as a woman instead of a man and recruiting Jolie for the starring role. Much like her part in 2005's "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," Jolie found in Salt a character whose purposely vague double life she could both exploit and understand on a personal level.

"There's a part of us that has a private self," she said. "We also have these sides to us that maybe we think it's not as much keeping secrets, but there's that side that not everybody knows about you or things that you're capable of that you haven't yet explored, that you're waiting to do when the opportunity arises."

As for the 35-year-old actress herself, she's hopeful she still has a few secrets under wraps — like the true meaning of her newest tattoo — that will keep audiences guessing in the future.

"I hope so," Jolie laughed. "I'd be bored if there wasn't something."

Check out everything we've got on "Salt."

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