10th December, 2019
Whatever happened to Angelina Jolie’s brother?
BY ANDY SCOTT AND JESSICA SAGER
James Haven became a media sensation for his lovey-dovey trip to the Oscars with his kid sister, Angelina Jolie, in 2000, but we haven’t heard much from him since. Of course, the tabloids had a field day spinning yarns about the siblings’ supposed incestuous relationship.
In fact, a good chunk of any gossip item related to Haven had a direct connection to his far more famous sister, and it’s not hard to understand why. Did James Haven marry a twice-awarded Sexiest Man Alive, adopt a multicultural brood of children, or became a UNICEF ambassador? No, he did not.
But he has been sort of silently along for the ride during his sister’s meteoric rise to the top of the movie biz, thus making him something of a Hollywood mystery. Has Haven been able to lead a colorful life in his own right? If so, what’s he been up to all these years?
Let’s start at the beginning.
Remember that kiss?
Haven became famous—or should we say infamous?—in 2000 when he accompanied Jolie to the 2000 Academy Awards. Although Jolie won the Oscar that night for Girl, Interrupted, she made bigger headlines for her public displays of affection with her sibling during the ceremony. At one point, while accepting the Oscar, Jolie declared she was “so in love” with Haven. At another point, the brother and sister locked lips. Their behavior spawned rumors that Jolie and Haven were actually dating.
But maybe it wasn’t that weird after all
Both Jolie and Haven have downplayed their notorious kiss over the years. “First, we’re the best of friends. And it wasn’t some odd open-mouthed kiss. It was disappointing that something so beautiful and pure could be turned into a circus,” Jolie told People magazine in 2004.
“I did not give Angie a French kiss; it was something simple and lovely,” Haven told the Daily Mail in 2007. “She was about to go off to Mexico to finish filming Original Sin (2001) with Antonio Banderas. I congratulated her on the Oscar win and gave her a quick kiss on the lips. It was snapped and became a big thing round the world.”
In 2014, a close friend of Jolie and Haven’s late mother, Marcheline Bertrand, shed more light on that smooch, claiming it was inspired by Bertrand’s health woes. “The day she kissed Jamie at the Oscars, it was the first day Marcheline was treated for cancer. They left the hospital together and got ready together,” Cis Rundle told Radar Online. “Nobody in the world knew that they spent the day in the hospital. It was like, ‘Look where we’re at now.’ But the world saw something incestual.”
Burying the hatchet
Although Jolie and Haven were very close to their mother, they had a famously difficult relationship with their father, Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight. “I have no memory at all of my mother shouting at me or at my sister,” Haven told the Daily Mail in 2007. “But I do have horrible memories of my father and the way he behaved. He was so tough on our mother.”
“He lived in the same town. We saw him around Christmas time or at school recitals,” Haven said. “He was always around but he never did his job as a father.” Their relationship was so strained that Haven dropped his surname in favor of his middle name, as did Jolie.
Around 2009, Haven became a born-again Christian, reconciled with Voight, and encouraged Jolie to also bury the hatchet, according to E! Online (via the New York Daily News). Jolie reportedly followed his lead about a year later.
Joined at the hip
Haven has stayed very close with Jolie over the years and has been a fixture at some of her biggest movie premieres, including Salt (2010), In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011), and Maleficent (2014). “I go to Angie for advice and won’t do anything without her because we were so close as children,” he told the Daily Mail in 2007.
Haven also attended Jolie and Brad Pitt’s intimate wedding ceremony in 2014 in France. At the wedding, the brother-sister duo paid tribute to their late mother—who died of ovarian cancer in 2007—by wearing pieces of her jewelry. “I also wore a little flower ring that was hers, and Jamie wore an angel pin from her jewelry box,” Jolie told People magazine in 2014. Haven was also featured in one of the behind-the-scenes wedding photos published by Hello! magazine shortly after the nuptials.
Did Angelina’s kids call him daddy?
Haven has reportedly been spending a lot of time with Jolie’s six children since news of her divorce broke. According to the Daily Mail, he’s become the kids’ full-time nanny, and Jolie’s twins, Knox and Vivienne, have started calling him “daddy.” Whether those rumors are true or not, Haven has accompanied Jolie and her kids on numerous trips throughout 2016. He was also photographed taking Jolie’s three biological children to a Los Angeles-area park on Sept. 18, 2016, the day before Jolie filed for divorce.
Actually, he was more like the head ‘manny’
A source told Grazia magazine (via Stuff.nz) that Haven stopped watching after Brangelina’s army of children in March 2017. A source claimed, “Things haven’t been easy with Brad and Angelina’s divorce, and James has done more than his fair share helping out while the family goes through a major upheaval. But he’s done. He’s loved spending so much time with his nieces and nephews, but it’s hard work and he’s absolutely shattered. It was his job to be there if any of the kids woke up during the night and to deal with the nannies if they had any issues. He was virtually running the household and it became very draining.”
The source added that Jolie let Haven go so he could focus on himself. “She was worried about how exhausted he looked and realized he needed a break,” the insider said. “Brad is coming back into the kids’ lives, so things have calmed down a little. She’s grateful that James was there, but knows she can’t rely on him every step of the way.”
Going from changing diapers to the director’s chair
In March 2016, The Wrap reported that Haven signed on to direct The Last Boy, a science fiction/fantasy drama about a young boy who searches for survivors after an airborne virus has destroyed humanity. Haven’s previous off and onscreen stints include the short film Court of Conscience (2015), starring his father and the late Anton Yelchin, and an appearance in an episode of the television series The Game (2007). The Last Boy will mark Haven’s feature directorial debut.
Over the years, Haven has also appeared in bit parts in various movies, including the 2001 thriller Original Sin, starring Jolie, and the Oscar-winning drama Monster’s Ball (2001), starring Jolie’s ex-husband, Billy Bob Thornton. The writer of the latter film, Milo Addica, also wrote the script for The Last Boy, which as of this writing is still listed as being in pre-production on IMDb.
No sister-in-law for Angie yet
In 2011, the Daily Mail reported that Haven had been in his first serious relationship with a theater studies graduate named Ashley Reign for more than two years. Reign has accompanied Haven to numerous events in Hollywood, including the 2014 premiere of Jolie’s movie, Maleficent. It’s unclear if they’re still dating at the time of this writing. In true gossip style, Star magazine alleged in 2011 that Jolie was “jealous” of Reign because she “doesn’t know how to share James with another woman.” Those rumors were, duh, totally denied.
Branjameslina was awkward for everyone
Remember that infamous Oscar night kiss we mentioned a few slides up? Well, Brad Pitt reportedly did. Documentarian Ian Halperin told Radar Online that Jolie and Haven were so close that he was cohabiting with Brangelina while they were still together in an already very full house.
“James was so close to them that he was actually living with them,” Halperin said. “It put Brad over the edge. Brad gave Ang the ultimatum: it’s him or me.”
According to Halperin, “It really made Brad uncomfortable how close James was. He wanted to be ‘hands on Brad dad’ and he didn’t need another nanny because they already have so many nannies.”