Angelina Jolie felt ''pretty broken'' before returning to acting.

The 44-year-old actress - who split from husband Brad Pitt in September 2016 - hadn't been on screen in four years when she returned to shoot 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' and she admitted it took her some time to ''feel the strength'' of the dark fairy once again.

She said of returning to the role: ''It was a tough time. I'd been coming off a few years of difficulty, and I was not feeling very strong. In fact, I was feeling pretty broken. It took me a moment to feel the strength of [Maleficent] again.''

In the first 'Maleficent' film, Angelina's youngest daughter, 11-year-old Vivienne - who has a twin brother, Knox - appeared as the young Princess Aurora and though her brood joined her in London for most of the sequel's shoot, she couldn't persuade any of them to be in the new movie.

Angelina - who has Maddox, 18, Pax, 15, Zahara, 14, Shiloh, 12, and the twins with Brad - told People magazine: ''I tried. Viv still can't believe I made her a princess. None of my kids want to be actors. [They're into] business, humanitarian affairs, things like that. Nobody was interested!''

The 'By the Sea' filmmaker recently admitted she ''lost herself a bit'' after splitting from Brad.

She said: ''I don't know what my fate holds but what I am convinced of is that I am in a period of transition, like a return to my roots, a return to myself. Because, I had lost myself a bit.

''I think it happened as my relationship with Brad was coming to an end, then at the beginning of our separation. It was a complicated moment, where I didn't recognise myself anymore, where I had become ... how can I say ... smaller, almost insignificant, even if it wasn't necessarily visible.''