This is a sad story about the struggles of mental illness. Despite her massive successes, Angelina Jolie has always had struggles.

Angelina Jolie has suffered from mental health issues throughout her life, especially during her early career when it felt like nothing would fall into place. It was a sequence of somewhat traumatic events that led to the tragic admission that she once went to extreme lengths to contact a hitman to take her life, a decision that arrived during a point when Jolie felt as though she couldn’t carry on any longer.

Thankfully, she never went through with the horrifying plot, but it was on the forefront of her mind for several years during young adulthood. Even before she had tasted the rigmaroles of fame, Jolie always felt isolated as a teenager and first turned to self-harm as a coping mechanism while she was at school. She later said: “For some reason, the ritual of having cut myself and feeling the pain, maybe feeling alive, feeling some kind of release, it was somehow therapeutic to me.”

Those bruises from her adolescence didn’t go away once her acting career started to get off the ground. In fact, they only enhanced when she entered the limelight. Jolie turned to drugs as a shoulder to cry on when she was 20 and had tried “just about every drug possible”, with heroin her vice of choice.

Her drug use worsened an already ruined relationship with her father, Jon Voight, who left the family when she was a baby. The two never shared a particularly close relationship and they have gone through various periods of estrangement and reconciliation, all of which has been played out in public. At this point, her father had turned his back on her because of Jolie’s spiralling addictions.

The actor first attempted to take her own life when she was just 19-years-old, but when she was 22, Jolie came up with what she thought was a genius plan to escape from the world and it’s all of its stresses.

“This is going to sound insane but there was a time I was going to hire somebody to kill me,” she said to IMDB in a past interview. “With suicide comes all the guilt of people around you thinking they could have done something,” Jolie added. ”With somebody being murdered, nobody takes some kind of guilty responsibility.”

The Face spoke at more length with Jolie about the incident and why she felt compelled to hire a hitman to carry out her death. “They’re not that hard to find in New York,” she responded. “As insane as it sounds, I think a lot of people consider suicide when they’re young,” Jolie admitted.

“I was very aware that so many people around me, like my mother, would feel as though they didn’t give enough or do enough, if I’d taken my own life,” Jolie continued. “So my solution to that was if someone else had taken my life – like in a ‘robbery’ – then it would be murder and it wouldn’t be that anyone would feel they’d let me down.”

Jolie even got as far as hiring the contract killer and planned to “take out cash over a certain amount of time, so there wasn’t a big chunk in my bank account” to the killer. However, remarkably, it wasn’t Jolie who had a change of heart, but the hitman persuaded her to carry on living.

“He was a decent enough person and asked if I could think about it and call him again in two months,” she explained. “Something changed in my life and I figured I’d stick it out.”

As bizarre as it sounds, we’ve got a hitman with a conscience to thank for Jolie being here today. Her mental health troubles didn’t end that day, Jolie would suffer a nervous breakdown at 24, but once she had her first child, she got that stability in her life that she always craved.