Angelina Jolie has urged young women from an east London school to make a “big, beautiful mess” instead of playing it safe.
The Hollywood star, 44, took time out of the global press tour in support of Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil to speak to students from Mulberry School for Girls in Whitechapel.
Jolie, who plays the titular dark fairy, was joined by her co-star Elle Fanning, 21, during the meeting to mark the International Day of the Girl.
Jolie told the 10 girls that being “perfect” was “boring” and that instead by striving to be themselves they could be “so attractive and so interesting”.
She said: “I remember when I was in acting class and there was this girl who was the prettiest.
“She did this thing and she was lovely and she was safe and she did this scene. It was perfect – and it was boring. My opinion. I won’t say her name.
“And then this other woman came and she didn’t look like people would say she was attractive. But she was just so full of life.
“She was so herself – and she came across as so attractive and so interesting.
“I remember thinking: ‘That’s it, I admire that woman, I want to be that woman.’
“Make a big, beautiful mess and be open. That is what will pull you through and make you happy.
“You will find success in it because you will be bringing something strong to the table.”
Mulberry School for Girls teaches some 1,400 students aged between 11 and 19 years.
Jolie is known for her humanitarian work and is the special envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The Duchess of Sussex is among the stars who have in recent years marked the International Day of the Girl, which aims to bring attention to girls’ rights and the challenges they face globally.
Asked by one student what lesson she would teach her younger self, Jolie replied: “I am a big believer that we have to make mistakes in life and learn from them.
“And that we are who we are because of all the things we have done right and wrong. We grow.
“So I would probably have to say hold on and know that you will find a lot of answers in your children, because I did.”
Jolie shares three biological and three adopted children with her ex Brad Pitt, 55.
The couple married in 2014, and Jolie filed for divorce in 2016.