angelina jolie's 2014 elle cover

In the middle of this hectic week, let us all take a second to join hands, take a deep breath, and freak out about Angelina Jolie‘s new Elle cover. I love that they made the bold choice to print her entire (gorgeous) spread in black and white– presumably as a nod to her upcoming Disney flick, Maleficent— and I love that they put her in understated, more masculine pieces. I can seriously get behind this new trend of dressing actresses in menswear, and it takes a beauty of Angie proportions to make grayscale work this hard. Her interview with the magazine is full of gems, too– including an oddly honest quote about her strange past.

Along with being a supremely talented actress, someone who can pull off black and white, and someone whose left leg has its own Twitter account, Angelina Jolie will also go down in history for proving that it’s possible to grow up in the public eye and completely shed your younger image. It seems like a thousand years ago that Angie was making out with her brother on the Oscars red carpet and wearing vials of Billy Bob Thorton‘s blood around her neck. She’s not even 39, and we’ve already moved so far beyond the Girl, Interrupted days that it’s rare to hear Angie’s name associated with anything other than “heroine” and “philanthropist” and “Brad Pitt‘s relatively normal wife who like probably doesn’t jive with incest.” In fact, it’s kind of weird to see her opening up about that famously bizarre period of her life, because I’d almost forgotten that she had one. According to the magazine,

The tumult of her twenties, was “misinterpreted as [me] wanting to be rebellious,” Jolie says. “And in fact it wasn’t a need to be destructive or rebellious—it’s that need to find a full voice, to push open the walls around you. You want to be free. And as you start to feel that you are being corralled into a certain life, you kind of push against it. It may come out very strange, it may be interpreted wrong, but you’re trying to find out who you are.”

Fascinating. It’s not like Angelina is the first celebrity to come across as both talented and bonkers (hello, Joaquin Phoenix and Helena Bonham Carter) and she’s also not the only one to class up her image as she grew up (Drew Barrymore, anyone? Evan Rachel Wood?), but it’s still hard to reconcile her banging-Billy-Bob-in-a-limo days with the stunning image on this Elle cover. I’m glad she’s found some peace as she’s grown up, and I’m glad that her heavily documented twenties haven’t haunted her for all of eternity. The powerful, respected, and (to a lesser extent) mega hot woman she is today is a great reminder to those of us who still feel like weirdos that maybe our time is yet to come.

Via Elle