This week, fans got a look at Taylor Sheridan’s new movie, Those Who Wish Me Dead. In the new thriller, 45-year-old Angelina Jolie stars as Hannah, a Montana firefighter still devastated from the three lives she failed to rescue from a fire. Directed by Oscar nominee and “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan, audiences will see her character find a distressed boy with nowhere to go. The movie will also follow the preteen, as he’s being stalked by two assassins and attempting to survive the wildfire.
“He has a unique voice when it comes to characters within America, which had not been a prior focus of my work,” Jolie said of Sheridan. “I wanted to be in this world with him.”
Based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Michael Koryta, audiences will see the Oscar-winning actress in a role unlike ever before. While Jolie has been in her fair share of action-packed films such as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Salt, this film offers the actress something different.
Those Who Wish Me Dead presents viewers with an intense, raw, authentic storyline. According to Jolie, she found herself drawn to the role because of its plot line based on reality. “I’ve done action in fantasy,” she explains. “This was different because it was real.”
“She carries a lot of guilt, and is quite broken,” Angelina Jolie said of her character. “She’s a smoke jumper, and a bit of an adrenaline junkie, but she’s also somebody that has experienced tragedy, and she feels responsible for it.”
Angelina Jolie Is Heating up in Taylor Sheridan’s New Thriller
“On its surface, the story feels like a thriller, with a lot of really interesting characters and a great adventure across unusual terrain, inside a great fire,” Jolie added. “But, underneath, it’s an emotional film about people who are thrown together to survive.”
For the veteran actor, she was also excited about pushing herself to her limits. “I was so happy to be pushed to just toughen up and get dirty and sweaty, and do things I’ve never done and feel very capable,” she said.
However, the film’s production was not without its complications. For one scene, production built a giant woodland set, which the crew later set on fire.
“[Sheridan] must’ve spent this huge amount of money on this fake forest,” Little, who plays 12-year-old Connor, said. “It was like, you built this massive thing just to burn it down!”
On set, the film sought out real firefighters to help monitor the wildfire scenes. While filming, Jolie met with several of them for insight into how to perform the role.
“The first day we were in the fire, [I noticed] the heat and how quickly the winds would change and how quickly the fire would suddenly take to a tree that you weren’t expecting,” Angelina Jolie said. “Our respect just grew day after day for these people on the front lines and how difficult this work is.”
Those Who Wish Me Dead hits theaters and HBO Max on May 14.