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Angelina Jolie sets the record straight on her 'exploitative' casting method for new film.

When Vanity Fair shared a story about the casting techniques used by Angelina Jolie and her team to find the actors for her new film, First They Killed My Fatherthe backlash was fast and ferocious.

According to the profile, the crew of the film—an adaption of Loung Ung’s memoir about the horrors of Pol Pot’s regime—gave young Cambodian children “wads of cash” before it was taken away in a type of “game.”

Their reactions at having been given everything, then having it snatched away were analysed to test if they were suitable for the part.

“Srey Moch [the girl ultimately chosen for the part] was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time,” Jolie said of the casting process in the Vanity Fair article. “When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back.”

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Angelina Jolie has been criticised for "cruel" casting techniques in her latest film. Image via Getty.

Many labelled the casting technique as "traumatising" for the young children, with others calling the game "sickening," "monstrous" and "exploitative."

But in a statement released to Huffington Post, the 42-year-old actress and mother-of-six said her comments were taken out of context.

"I am upset that a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film, has been written about as if it was a real scenario," she said in the statement.

"The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting. I would be outraged myself if this had happened."

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The actress said her comments were taken out of context. Image via Getty.

Jolie added there were parents, guardians and non-governmental organisation partners present throughout the entire audition and filmmaking process.

Medical doctors were also on hand and Jolie stressed that no one was hurt by participating in one of the film's most pivotal scenes.

"Every measure was taken to ensure the safety, comfort and well-being of the children on the film, starting from the auditions through production to the present...to make sure that no one was in any way hurt by participating in the recreation of such a painful part of their country's history," Jolie said.

"The point of this film is to bring attention to the horrors children face in war and to help fight to protect them."

A source who was on the set of the film also told Huffington Post that the children were well aware they were improvising a scene from the movie and that no real money was involved. The children were told that the situation was entirely "pretend" for the purposes of the audition.

The sentiment was echoed by the film's producer, Rithy Panh.

"We wanted to see how they would improvise when their character is found 'stealing' and how they would justify their action," he said.

"The children were not tricked or entrapped, as some have suggested. They understood very well that this was acting and make-believe."

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