Obvious History: Angelina Jolie once bought his ’n’ hers burial plots for Billy Bob

By
Photography Max Vadukul

Published January 12, 2018

In collaboration with @velvetcoke, Obvious History is a weekly series which unearths forgotten moments in pop culture’s past, where the famous and the fascinating collided.

Growing up in Los Angeles with famous parents—the actor Jon Voight and actress Marcheline Bertrand—there was nothing conventional about Angelina Jolie’s upbringing. So when the Girl, Interrupted [1999] star began dating as a teen, it wasn’t long after that her boyfriend moved in. “One of my boyfriends lived with me at my mum’s house when I was just 14,” she once told The Sun. “It was the smartest thing my mother could have done because, this way, we weren’t hanging out in a park together. We lived like a married couple for two years. By the time I was 16, I wanted my freedom and wanted to focus on work.”

Little is known about her former boyfriend, except that it was during this relationship—which lasted two years—that Jolie began experimenting with knife-play. It was the first in a string of controversies that garnered her a reputation of being reckless. “Early on in my first sexual relationship, I brought knives out and had a night where we attacked each other.” she told Barbara Walters in July 2003. “It was so stupid because I still have a mark next to my jugular vein. But it was a release of some kind. It felt so primitive, and it felt so honest. And then I had to deal with not telling my mother, and hiding the gauze bandage that I wore to high school.”

“He was my first boyfriend at a time when I wanted to be promiscuous and was starting to be sexual. We were in my bedroom, in my environment, where I was most comfortable and I wasn’t in danger,” she told The Daily Mirror in 2001. “You’re young, you’re drunk, you’re in bed, you have knives, shit happens.”

When she began dating the actor Billy Bob Thornton, whom she met on the set of Pushing Tin [1989], the eccentricities only increased. To celebrate their one-year anniversary, Jolie wanted to surprise him with a special gift: his ’n’ hers grave plots in an Arkansas cemetery.

“It may sound a bit weird to people, but it is very special for us,” she continued. “I’d called his mother to find out where a lot of his family are buried and I reserved plots there so that one day, when we die, we’ll be next to each other. That meant a lot to him. It was my gift to him. He gave me a document witnessed by a lawyer that said he would be with me for ever. It’s maybe a funny way of doing it, but we signed our life away to each other.”

Their marriage ended amicably after two years.