First They Killed My Father
Photo: Kampuchea Thmey Daily

To cast the children in the film, Jolie looked at orphanages, circuses, and slum schools, specifically seeking children who had experienced hardship. In order to find their lead, to play young Loung Ung, the casting directors set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away. The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie. “Srey Moch [the girl ultimately chosen for the part] was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time,” Jolie says. “When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back.” Jolie then tears up. “When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.”

Taken from Vanity Fair.

Info on her film First They Killed My Father.

While shooting in Battambang town, some locals were reported to have suffered ‘flashbacks’ due to the realism of the street sets.

First They Killed My Father
Photo: Kampuchea Thmey Daily
First They Killed My Father
Photo: Kampuchea Thmey Daily
First They Killed My Father
Photo: Kampuchea Thmey Daily

UPDATE: Angelina Jolie’s rebuttal to this story.

“The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting. I would be outraged myself if this had happened.”

I had a really hard time believing the original story but Vanity Fair and all…