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Angelina Jolie to play Kay Scarpetta

The actress' interest in the popular series by Patricia Cornwell got the ball rolling after many years of starts and stops.

February 23, 2010|By Rachel Abramowitz

"When Angelina came out of left field last year, I was floored," she says. And then it took months of protracted negotiations to get the two in a room together. "I think meeting the head of the KGB might have been easier," Cornwell says. "It was all hush-hush." Finally, Jolie's "Salt" trailer, then located on Long Island, was deemed the spot. Cornwell suggested that she herself fly her proposed suitors -- Gordon, Kosinski and Fox 2000 executive Carla Hacken -- out to the set in her helicopter, an option that got derailed by the weather, so instead they all trekked out from Manhattan in a limo.

"[Angelina] had pithy things to say about what she wanted to do. She was direct and goal-oriented," says Cornwell, who adds that she was particularly impressed by Jolie's demeanor. "She waited on everyone, getting them their lunch, while her own staff was seated. She was aware intuitively how other people were feeling and wanted to make them comfortable. It was not typical for people of her stature."

As Cornwell succinctly notes about dealing with celebrities: "Usually, it's all about them."

rachel.abramowitz @latimes.com

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