Motherhood helped Angelina Jolie nail her villainous role in the Maleficent films because she simply had to think of her daughters while preparing for scenes with Elle Fanning.

The two actresses teamed up for the London premiere of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil on Wednesday, and Angelina confessed it was easy to play a protector in the film because she is always looking out for her children in real life.

"Being a mother, you want your child to be safe and so protection is probably where I am the most," the Oscar winner said, surrounded by her kids at the screening. "Elle, or (character) Aurora, is a very different girl from any of my girls, but my willingness to fight for whatever they need to feel protected is, for me, what a mum does."

Angelina also opened up about taking her young co-star paintballing with her children during the sequel shoot, adding, "We didn't tell production (staff)... They get mad at me."

Elle, 21, recently told InStyle magazine she witnessed Angelina's "aggressive" side on the paintballing day out, revealing, "I had never gone paintballing before and we were in full-on armour. We were the only people in the place, with all of her kids.

"She and I were not on the same team. I was so bad. I hit their security guard in the neck - and he was on my team! Angelina's really good."

"I can't remember if I shot her," the 44-year-old chuckled at the premiere. "I probably did. I wouldn't have stopped if she was in my sights."