Angelina Jolie Just Won Her First Tony Award & Owes It All To Daughter Viv

Good thing Angelina Jolie listened to an urgent recommendation by her daughter, Vivienne: The Oscar-winning actress just took home her first Tony for producing The Outsiders: A New Musical.

Jolie took the stage Sunday at the Tony Awards ceremony with her 15-year-old daughter, who was the one who encouraged her mom to see a staging of the musical in La Jolla, CA. Vivienne Jolie also contributed notes on the hit Broadway version, as did Jolie.

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Producer Matthew Rego gave a specific shout-out to Angelina Jolie, one of several who made the musical a reality, when he accepted the Tony. He also name-checked The Outsiders author S.E. Hinton, who was in the audience. Set in Tulsa in 1967, The Outsiders is the story of 14-year-old Ponyboy Curtis, his two brothers and best friend Johnny – the Greasers – as they struggle to get by and stand tall against the affluent rival group the Socs.

Vivienne Jolie and Angelina Jolie attend the 77th Annual Tony Awards at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center
Vivienne Jolie and Angelina Jolie attend the 77th Annual Tony Awards at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center

“Susie Hinton wrote The Outsiders 60 years ago and she has received accolades ever since. But she often says that she still gets overwhelmed when told that The Outsiders changed someone’s life because she’ll say, who might have changed anyone’s life? It’s the book. It’s not the author. It’s the message, not the messenger. Well Susie, I’m here to tell you that your story and its eternal message of love and family and staying gold has forever changed all of our lives. We love you.”

Jolie did not speak on stage, nor was she present backstage for reporters after the Tonys. Bummer.

In a recent discussion with Deadline, Jolie explained how she first became involved with the musical.

“My daughter Viv loves theater. She appreciates all theater but she certainly knows what she feels close to and what she responds to. She went to see The Outsiders at La Jolla about five times and was telling me about it, and I had read the book, and I’d seen the film years ago. Then she asked me to come see it with her, and I thought it was just a…you know, Danya speaks of how important it is to teenagers, how it was written by somebody who’s the age of my daughter, right? So, really, as a mother, as a person, I was watching it, but I was really watching the effect it was having on my young daughter and what she was telling me about herself, and I was learning what about it was important to her and why it connected so deeply to her.”

“So, it was a very different experience of understanding, of how this is having a significant effect on her as a young person right now, and she’s communicating something to me, and that is the power of this material, which was in really good shape even by then,” Jolie continued. “And then I had the privilege of watching everyone work over this last year to make it into what it is, and Vivienne has been there the whole way.”

Outsiders director Danya Taymor added that “Angelina was in the room a lot, a lot, and providing not just support, but also incredible feedback, not just to me, although definitely to me and like, a real champion of keeping the vision potent and courageous and brutal like the book, but she also was there for the actors.”

“You know, we had a lot of people making their Broadway debuts, a lot of people entering the spotlight for the first time, and she was incredibly generous in sharing her experience,” Taymor continued. “And you know, technical rehearsals in the theater are not for the faint of heart. They’re long days, and it moved me so much that Angelina was there, because that’s how you earn people’s trust, and she gave us that. She had so much skin in the game and so much curiosity about it all, and same thing with Vivienne. Vivienne would watch the show and give me the most amazing notes. Like, incredible eye. So, it was a wonderful, wonderful support, and also, obviously, made the work better.”

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