Angelina Jolie Talks to TIME

The actress, activist and writer-director on Bosnian Serbs, sex scenes and that Oscar pose

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“What I really want to do is direct,” is one of those old Hollywood jokes, but Angelina Jolie says she never planned on becoming a director. As she tells it, her film In the Land of Blood and Honeyavailable now on DVD — is the result of her simply following her desire to know more about the war in Yugoslavia. “I’ve always felt the responsibility because it was my generation, and it was one that I didn’t understand enough and learn enough about, and we had such a delayed intervention,” she said.

She wrote the script as a kind of a research project and was talked into making it after it was read by a Hollywood big-shot: Brad Pitt. “He wrote me a very nice note about it, and then we talked about it at length, and then we went back to the region together,” she says in Time‘s 10 Questions this week (which you can read here).

While some may be surprised at Jolie’s choice of subject for her directorial debut—wouldn’t a nice little romantic comedy be easier?— the actress says that war films and history films are her personal favorite to watch. “As an actor, people think that the films you like are the ones you make,” she says. “You enjoy aspects of your character, but it’s not your film. You’re just a piece of it. ”

Jolie also makes sure to enjoy her forays onto the red carpet. “I was just having fun on a night you should have fun at,” she says about her dramatic leg through the slit her dress pose at the Oscars. That pose now has a name: Joliening. Is she surprised at the effect she has on the culture? “You can never understand why certain things become something,” she says. “It’s totally weird.”

Read the full 10 questions interview with Angelina Jolie from the latest issue of time here magazine’s 10 Questions this week.