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Jolie's £2m country seat
By Richard Simpson, Evening Standard
22 August 2003

This is the £2.1 million estate in the heart of the Home Counties that Angelina Jolie is making her permanent home.

The Lara Croft star, back in the company of her English former husband Jonny Lee Miller, this week said she saw herself as a British resident and wanted to bring her son up on this side of the Atlantic.

Jolie is the latest in a growing line of Hollywood émigrés who have decided to live here. First came Madonna, with a Georgian home in London and a country estate in Wiltshire. She was followed by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and then Reese Witherspoon and her actor husband Ryan Phillippe.

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Jolie's new home is an eight-bedroom converted farmhouse set in acres of grounds and hidden from view by thick woods - a far cry from the $3 million hacienda-style home she shared with her second husband, Billy Bob Thornton, in Beverly Hills, which they rented from Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash before their divorce earlier this year.

The actress, daughter of Jon Voight, grew up in Los Angeles but has spent increasing amounts of time in the UK between filming. She bought her new home in February and stayed at a suite at the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane while she spent hundreds of thousands renovating the house before moving in.

The Oscar-winning actress - whose Tomb Raider sequel The Cradle Of Life premiered in London this week - chose the property in Buckinghamshire because of its discreet location.

The house has a large south-facing terrace and conservatory at the rear. Inside is a gym where Jolie trains daily. The interior is decorated in a traditional English style - spiced with Thai artefacts bought during Jolie's travels in south-east Asia, where some of the first Tomb Raider film was shot. There is also a room dedicated to her collection of knives, many brought from Cambodia, where she also has a house.

Outside, her new silver Mercedes can be seen on the gravel drive. Behind the house there is a playground for Jolie's two-year-old son Maddox, adopted from Cambodia - he celebrated his birthday at the house earlier this month. She told the Standard: "We've moved permanently to Britain. I'm sending Maddox to school here. I want him to grow up and be educated in a multicultural society."

Jolie, 28, who is said to have enjoyed performing a lot of her own stunts in her Lara Croft role, also added that she is soon planning to learn to fly.

She first spotted her new home while filming the original Tomb Raider in 2000. After signing an £8 million deal to appear in the sequel, she bought the property.

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