Now that obscure thespians Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have quietly ended their relationship, the people interested in their comings and goings are wondering what's next for the pair. Will Brad suddenly start being seen more with Marion Cotillard? Will Angie throw herself into Maleficent 2 and start accessorizing with blood again? Who knows! He's a big deal, and she's more powerful than the leaders of half the countries in the world, so they can probably do what they want.
If it was up to me, though, Ms. Jolie would pursue a long-rumored dream of hers, and force her way into the rarified world of British politics.
"What the hell are you talking about?" I can hear you say. Let's go on a journey of discovery!
As The Cut recounted on Tuesday, Us Weekly has been all over the story of Jolie's purported quest for British political office. Specifically, the tabloid has been contending for months that she's eyeing a spot in the House of Lords, the fancier upper chamber of the British Parliament.
In May, the gossip mag reported that Jolie was "readying herself for what could be a full-time commitment with the British government." And in June, Us Weekly hinted that these ambitions were putting a strain on the Jolie-Pitt marriage.
Angie apparently wanted to sell the couple's estate in the South of France—the Chateau Miraval, where they married in 2014 and set up the headquarters for their new wine business—so that she could focus on her political career in the U.K. Why can't obscenely rich people keep homes in both France and Britain? Search me, but I guess they can't. Anyway, Brad supposedly didn't want to sell this lovely chateau—and it was causing problems. It's symbolism, see? They wanted different things from life. She wanted to trade a house…for a House.
Cut to a few months later, and Brad's been hit with divorce papers. The initial publicity has been focusing on much darker allegations about Brad's behavior, but could his reluctance to support his wife's political future be part of the problem? I'm going to say…definitely.
"OK," you say, "where is the proof that Angelina Jolie, international icon and burgeoning director, wants to spend her time with a bunch of old men in London?"
Good question! But there's tons of proof.
For one, as we all know, Jolie has been doing humanitarian work for ages. She's been an envoy for the U.N.'s refugee agency for so long that she has a special section dedicated to her on its website.
For another, she's been extremely upfront about her interest in politics. In 2014, she flatly told Vanity Fair that she was "open" to devoting more time to politics or public service, adding, "When you work as a humanitarian, you are conscious that politics have to be considered. Because if you really want to make an extreme change, then you have a responsibility."
But why decamp to England? Why not choose, say, America, the country Jolie happens to be from?
This is where an old British man Jolie absolutely loves spending time with comes in. His name is William Hague, and he's most famous for leading the Conservative Party to a disastrous electoral defeat, then bouncing back and becoming Foreign Secretary. (It would be as if a somewhat leftier Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush suddenly became Secretary of State.) He's now a member of…wait for it…the House of Lords.
Jolie and Hague first teamed up in 2012—she in her U.N. role, he as the U.K.'s Foreign Secretary—at a conference about sexual assault in war. Since then, they have grown extremely close and done a lot of work together on the issue. They've been to war zones together, chaired summits together, written op-eds—you name it. Jolie and Hague will also be teaching together at the London School of Economics this fall.
The effectiveness of these efforts has been called into question—the Observer reported that Britain spent five times more money putting a Jolie/Hague summit together than it did on actually trying to prevent rape in war zones—but the duo has certainly been dedicated, and the work has inevitably pulled Jolie closer and closer to the U.K.
Jolie has also been joining forces with Arminka Helic, a former adviser to Hague who is—you guessed it—yet another member of the House of Lords. The two women, along with a third partner, set up a group called Jolie Pitt Dalton Helic together earlier this year.
So yeah, it is ridiculously easy to see Angelina Jolie joining a group of her closest collaborators in Parliament. Why wouldn't she???
How could Angelina Jolie, random American, get such a prime gig in one of Britain's most revered bodies? The short answer is that members of the House of Lords are appointed, not elected, to their seats, so if some prime minister wanted her there, it could happen. (Yes, this complete lack of democratic accountability is actually pretty controversial!)
There are a few requirements Jolie would have to meet—she'd have to get British citizenship and pay taxes in the U.K., for instance—but, call me crazy, I think the Brits would be cool with letting her in. A 2011 Census estimate found that there were 15 times as many members of the Lords who were over 90 than under 40, so she'd bring the average age down by decades just by walking through the door, too. Then she could don her special House of Lords ermine fur robes, collect her £300-a-day fee and have a party!
Duh. This is absolutely happening. Baroness Jolie. Lady Angelina. Whatever you want to call it, it's happening, and there's no stopping it. Meanwhile, I'm sure Brad will be having fun on the set of Ocean's 18.