Angelina Jolie has revealed she believes that "what does not kill you makes you stronger" after opening up about overcoming personal struggles following the news she's had her ovaries removed to prevent cancer.
The 39-year-old star - who has had her breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to minimise her risk of cancer because she carries the BRCA1 gene - insists she has learned from all her experiences, both good and bad.
Asked if she thinks there's wisdom to the idea that struggle helps you to grow, she told Elle.com: "I do believe in the old saying, 'What does not kill you makes you stronger'. Our experiences, good and bad, make us who we are. By overcoming difficulties, we gain strength and maturity."
The 'Maleficent' actress' comments come after she revealed last week that she'd decided to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed after a test showed markers she could be in the early stages of ovarian cancer.
She said at the time: "Last week, I had the procedure: a laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. There was a small benign tumor on one ovary, but no signs of cancer in any of the tissues."
Angelina - who is married to 'Fury' actor Brad Pitt and has children Maddox, 13, Pax, 11, Zahara, 10, Shiloh, eight, and six-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox - decided to go ahead with the operation just two years after she underwent a double mastectomy after discovering she carried a gene which meant she had an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer.
And following her most recent surgery she confessed she's been taking hormone replacements but will never be able to have more children with Brad.
She said previously: "Regardless of the hormone replacements I'm taking, I am now in menopause. I will not be able to have any more children, and I expect some physical changes. But I feel at ease with whatever will come, not because I am strong but because this is a part of life. It is nothing to be feared."