Growing up in the spotlight, he has spent his childhood hanging out on movie sets, traveled around on private jets and living in lavish homes around the world. At 16 he’s even got his first executive producer credit under his belt, what other teenager can say that?
As part of Brangelina’s brood, Maddox has been in the spotlight since he was a baby. He was first introduced to the showbiz lifestyle at just seven-months-old, when the actress adopted him from an orphanage in Cambodia. Angelina was in South-East Asia to film Tomb Raider, but the trip soon turned into more than just a shoot after she became a mom.
Since then, we’ve watched Maddox transform from adorable toddler with a spikey mohawk to a charming young man on the red carpet, we don’t actually know that much about him.
The notoriously private couple have worked hard to keep their children away from the public glare and unlike other celeb offspring, you won’t be able to find social media accounts with photos of their everyday life.
There have been some snippets of information revealed over the years that can give us an insight into what kind of guy Maddox is. Here are 15 things you probably don’t know about him.
15 His name wasn’t always Maddox Jolie-Pitt
While we know him as Maddox, when Angelina Jolie adopted him in 2002 his name was Rath Vibol. Ange first met baby Maddox at an orphanage in the provincial town of Battambang, Cambodia when he was just seven-months-old. She had decided to only visit one and had almost given up on finding her child after not feeling a spark with any of them.
“I didn’t feel a connection with any of them,” she explained to Vogue. “They then said, ‘There’s one more baby.’ ”
Maddox was sleeping in a box suspended from the ceiling and on first seeing him Jolie said she "cried and cried."
After the adoption was confirmed the actress petitioned the Cambodian government to change his name to Maddox Chivan Thornton Jolie. That changed again in 2006, when Brad Pitt adopted him and he became a Jolie-Pitt.
14 Angelina almost didn’t go through with the adoption
Angelina now has three adopted children and three biological children, but back when she first went to Cambodia in 2000 she wasn’t sure if it was the right path for her. Sensitive to the culture of the country, she was worried it would be seen as disrespectful to attempt to adopt one of their children. After agonizing about the adoption, she decided to weigh her entire decision on the advice of close friend and human right activist Loung Ung.
“I asked her as a Cambodian orphan if she would be offended for somebody like me, an outsider, [to do that], or if that would be a nice thing,” she told Vogue.
“It might have changed my decision. It might have made it very hard for me.”
Thankfully Loung remains a close friend of the actress, whose memoir inspired Jolie's latest movie, First They Killed My Father.
13 Brad Pitt wasn’t his first father
Technically, Maddox’s first father figure was Angelina’s husband Billy Bob Thornton. They got hitched in 2000 in Las Vegas after dating for just two months. Two years later Ang adopted Maddox and although only her name appeared on the official papers Maddox took Thornton's last name. So it shocked everyone when they split abruptly three months later. While they remain on good terms, there's been speculation the break-up, was in part, due to the arrival of Maddox.
One of Billy-Bob’s ex-wives, Melissa deBin-Parish, who was hitched to Thornton between 1978 and 1980, claimed it was no coincidence the marriage ended when it did.
She told Star magazine in 2012: "I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he did not want to be around children back then.
"Look at the timeline: she adopted Maddox and then, [Billy] was gone."
12 Maddox played matchmaker for Brad and Angie
It’s not usually a case of children hurrying a romance along, but according to the Maleficent star that’s exactly what happened to her. Talking about the start of her romance with Brad, she said they bonded over their love of children and if it wasn’t for Maddox things might have moved much slower.
Describing how Brad’s natural bond with her son made her realize he was the one for her she told Vogue in 2007: “It was amazing. We were playing with cars on the floor of a hotel room, and we both heard it and didn’t say anything and just looked at each other. So that was probably the most defining moment, when he decided that we would all be a family.”
The first time Angelina and Brad were photographed together was on a beach in Kenya, just a month after the actor split from ex-wife Jennifer Aniston. The happy family image appeared to confirm the long speculated romance.
11 He's Never Been To School
With their constant moving around it would be impossible for the kids to stay in one school, so all six have been home-schooled. Aside from a brief time at the French school Lycee Français, which has international campuses, the couple enlist a “team of international teachers,” to take care of their children’s education according to StarPulse.
But it’s no normal curriculum. Angie has made it clear she isn’t a fan of standard American education and thinks it needs to catch up with modern life. She previously said: “Instead of tomfoolery in the class room, I’d rather them go to a museum and learn to play guitar and read and pick a book they love.” It must have worked because Maddox can speak Russian and German almost fluently.
10 He had his first love at 12
Missing out on school hasn't stood in the way of Maddox having a tween romance. When he was just 12, Jolie spilled all the details about his first girlfriend to the world during an appearance on the red carpet. She told Entertainment Tonight: “She’s lovely. She lives in England. She’s very cool.”
"We go there [London] as often as possible. It's really, really sweet," she said of the son's long-distance relationship. "She's a great lady, so I'm lucky. So far, we're doing good."
She must be cool to impress Angelina. With the family moving around so much, the romance had to go long-distance but Jolie insisted they try to visit the U.K. as much as possible so Maddox can see his crush. We wonder if they’re still together?
9 He's A Speed Demon
Maddox definitely follows in his parent’s footsteps when it comes to his love for anything fast and slightly dangerous. For his ninth birthday he had a party at Go Kart World in California, where he went tearing around the mini indy track.
“Brad and Angie rented the whole park, and it was closed down to the public to make sure that Maddox and his friends would be able to have a fun party in private,” a source told PEOPLE.
“Maddox was very excited about his party and spent a lot of time racing his friends in the kiddy karts on the Mini Indy Track. The kids had the best time, and Maddox even got a trophy at the end of the party for being such a good racer.”
That clearly wasn’t enough though and two years later Brad gave him a Suzuki DRZ-125. If that’s what he was getting at 11, imagine what he will be driving now he’s actually old enough to get a license. We shouldn’t be too surprised at this one, because his parents are known to be big motorcycle fans. Brad loves them so much; he tries to incorporate a bike into as many movie roles as he can.
8 A Huge Fan Of His Mom
Maddox recently did his first ever interview with People and gave us a little bit of an insight into his character. Talking about the similarities between himself and Cambodian people he said: “They’re calm, relaxed, and when they want to do something wild, they do it — much like me in a way.”
He also referred his mom as a “wonder”. And when asked about working with her on set he gave her a thumbs up, saying: “[She’s] fun, funny, and easy to work with.”
He was speaking to the magazine about the movie First They Killed My Father, which Angelina directed and he executive produced. The film is based on the memoirs of Jolie’s longtime friend, human rights activist Loung Ung, about surviving the Khumer Rouge genocide in Cambodia.
7 A Deep Bond With Cambodia
While Maddox grown up predominately in the U.S. Maddox has never forgotten his Cambodian roots. He has been a constant visitor to the country over the years and is just as famous there as Angelina.
He spent four months there when shooting First They Killed My Father, a project Jolie claimed would help him understand and learn about his people. The actress, who has a house in Cambodia, has always made it clear she wants her adopted children to embrace the heritage of their birth country.
In 2003 she founded the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation which works to preserve the environment and support rural communities in the North Western region of the country, where Maddox is originally from.
Speaking about the connection to the country days ahead of the premiere of First They Killed My Father, she said in a press conference in 2016: “We’ve been coming back and forth for 17 years, it feels like a second home to me.
“The children have close ties to the children here, many of them are their best friends. Maddox is happy to be back in his country.”
6 He Collects Daggers
Angelina is famous for her love of knives and weapons and she clearly wants to pass that onto her children. She claimed to have been given a dagger when she was 11 and said by the time Maddox was 7, he owned one too.
"My mom took me to buy my first daggers when I was 11 or 12," she told W Magazine in 2008. "And I've already bought Maddox some things. We take him to a special shop. We also talk about samurais and about the idea of defending someone as good. We talk about everything."
But it’s not just daggers that Maddox is a fan of. He also likes guns. Jolie said it even gave him inspiration for his Mother’s Day present: “He’s all into war and guns. So for Mother’s Day he drew a machine-gun, and Brad had it made into a necklace, which is really sweet. It’s really cute.”
5 A Rebellious Teen?
Even with a cool mom like Jolie, a teenager has to rebel sometime and the actress has admitted she’s discovered some stuff she didn’t know about her children. In 2014, said she was shocked to find out Maddox had watched R-rated movies without her permission and only realized when talking to him years later.
She told People magazine: "You think the kids know nothing, and then you find out they're like, 'Oh yeah, seen it'.”
She does know who taught him to curse though, her Kung-Fu Panda co-star Jack Black. She added:"My [Maddox] oldest especially loves Jack’s music. He’s introduced him to a few words, few thoughts."
Angelina admitted she finds it hard to control her kids because she's a rebel at heart.
“My kids rebelling would be if they all became brain surgeons," she told The Radio Times in 2014. "They’re already asking me about tattoos. How do I say ‘No’?”
4 He’s not as excited for the Jolie-Pitt family vacays anymore
While traveling the world might be most people's dream, Angelina had admitted that as Maddox and his brother Pax get older, the boys aren’t as excited to keep going away. She said while they appreciate traveling, they would rather stay home and play video games with her friends then jet off to another country.
She recently admitted to Vanity Fair: "I'm conscious that the boys are teenage boys, and maybe they'd rather be watching TV with their friends, and they've been to Africa, and they may not be as excited as the little ones.”
She added: "But they don't really challenge me. They just kind of sit on the edge of my bed and say, 'What are we going to do there?'"
Angie says she always makes sure that whatever philanthropic mission they’re on, the family always has something fun planned as well.
3 Out Of Control Maddox
They usually stay out the headlines, but Maddox found himself at the center of controversy in 2016 when a former nanny claimed he and his siblings were "out of control".
An alleged former nanny told InTouch they were constantly swearing and fighting, and commented on Maddox’s "bad tempers".
“They have no control over their kids. In the middle of the night they’re running down the hallway waking their parents up and trying to get into their beds.”
While the story has been denied, both parents have admitted things can get out of control in the Jolie-Pitt household.
He told USA Weekend in 2011: "It's not unusual for the kids to be covered in paint. We have mud fights. It's chaos from morning until the lights go out, and sometimes after that."
2 Not A Fan Of Hollywood
Unlike many celebrity offspring, Maddox reportedly doesn’t want to become a celebrity in his own right. According to Life & Style sources claim he is “rejecting” the spotlight and “does not want to follow in his famous parents’ footsteps”.
"Maddox hates the glitz and glamour that comes with being a Hollywood star," the insider said. "He doesn’t really like attending any kind of showbiz event. He’ll make a brief appearance if he has to, but celeb events aren’t his thing."
He doesn’t mind emulating them on the film set though and already has a string of on-screen and behind the camera credits under his belt. His first feature film appearance came in 2011’s World War Z, where he was an extra alongside dad Brad. He helped out on the production of Angie and Brad’s 2015 big screen reunion, By The Sea.
Angelina credits Maddox as being the driving force behind the project and said he was the one who told her it was time to tell the story of the Cambodian people.
1 Fighting With Brad
Maddox found himself at the center of Angelina and Brad’s shock split in 2016 after it was revealed he had argued with his father the day before Jolie filed for divorce. The family were on a private jet from France to Los Angeles, when Maddox and Pitt became engaged in a “verbal incident” according to multiple reports.
TMZ reported shortly after the plane took off, the couple began arguing and Maddox "jumped up to verbally defend his mom." Brad then reportedly "lunged at the boy and Angelina jumped in between them to block her husband."
The F.B.I and child services both investigated the incident and Brad was cleared of any wrong doing.
The incident broke the view of the Jolie-Pitts as a perfect family and hinted at some deeper drama with Maddox. He was the only child not to visit Brad on his birthday shortly after the split was announced, hinting that the drama had not been resolved.