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Angelina Jolie’s Kiss with Her Brother James Haven Was A Historic Pop Culture Moment

The legendary actress Angelina Jolie and her brother, James Haven, grabbed front pages and magazine covers for their split-second kiss at the 2000 Vanity Fair afterparty. 

The actress had just won her first Oscar earlier that day (the Best Supporting Actress for her role as the sociopathic patient Lisa Rowe in the psychological drama film “Girl, Interrupted”), and she was holding the trophy when that historic pop culture moment was made. 


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Jolie was 24 then and had just started carving her name in the industry. She won her first Golden Globe and earned her first Emmy nomination for her performance in TNT’s “George Wallace” as Cornelia, Wallace’s second wife, in 1997.

The following year, she won her second Golden Globe and first Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for portraying the late supermodel Gia Maria Carangi in HBO’s biopic Gia. Then, in 2000, she bagged her third Golden Globe, second SAG award, and very first Academy Award for “Girl, Interrupted,” which was adapted from Susanna Kaysen’s memoir of the same title. 

Jolie gave her acceptance speech for her Best Supporting Actress Oscar at the Shrine Auditorium in LA, where she stood before some of the acting greats like Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, Julian Moore, and Tom Cruise. She started by jokingly saying that she was surprised nobody had ever fainted on the stage. She then gave her brother Jason a shoutout. 

The actress said, “He just held me and said he loved me, and I know he’s so happy for me. And, um, thank you for that.”

The Pop Culture Moment

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Later in the evening, Jolie and her brother attended the afterparty hosted by Vanity Fair. She posed for the cameras with her award in hand. Her brother stood beside her. Then, at one point, in a series of flashes, the siblings shared a quick kiss on the lips. 

Their split-second moment landed on the front page of several newspapers the following morning. It also earned the cover page of magazines. 

According to Melissa Rivers, who co-hosted E! Live From the Red Carpet the night it happened, it was a “blatantly sexual moment,” and people definitely gasped at the eyebrow-raising sight of it as it had never happened before. 

Addressing the kiss with Entertainment Weekly, Jolie explained that they had nothing more than platonic love for each other. Her parents really loved that moment, which was the only thing that mattered to her. 

Years after the fact, the siblings still get asked about it. In 2007, Haven clarified with Daily Mail that he didn’t give his sister a French kiss. It was just something simple and lovely. 

He continued, saying that Jolie was about to go and finish filming “Original Sin” with Antonio Banderas in Mexico. So he took that chance to congratulate her on her win and gave her a quick kiss. 

It was snapped, and needless to say, it became a big deal. Now, it has been stamped as a historic pop culture moment. 

While the kiss left them in quite a situation for years, Angelina Jolie and her brother had no awkward moments. In fact, they remained close. Haven attended her 2014 wedding to her now ex Brad Pitt and her October 2019 “Maleficent” premiere. He was also reported playing manny to Jolie’s kids as they worked out their divorce terms. 

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