Angelina Jolie credits children for giving her 'strength' in years following Brad Pitt split

Angelina Jolie, third right, and her children, from left, Pax Jolie-Pitt, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt and Knox Jolie-Pitt arrive at the world premiere of "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" on Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles. Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP.

Mother-of-six Angelina Jolie says her children have been the source of her "strength" during the "ups and downs" she's experienced over the past few years.

The actress, who is parent to Maddox, 18, Pax, 15, Zahara, 14, Shiloh, 13, and 11-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox, filed for divorce from her partner of 12 years Brad Pitt back in September 2016.

Jolie's comments come as she returns to the role of Maleficent for the Disney sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, which was released in the UK last week.

Read more: Jennifer Aniston's heartbreaking final words to Angelina Jolie revealed

“We’ve all been a bit in lockdown. We all have our difficult times. Very ­similar to my character in the film, my strength is from my children," the 44-year-old told The Sun. "I didn’t work, the kids needed me at home."

“Anyone who is a parent knows there is a strength within you that grows when you just have to survive anything to be strong enough for them and you have to pull them through anything.”

American actress and UNHCR Ambassador Angelina Jolie, left, with her daughter Zahara, and Brad Pitt, right, with Jolie's son Maddox, walk near the Gateway of India in Mumbai, India. (AP Photo, File)

Jolie also told the publication: "The last few years have not been the easiest. I have had my ups and downs. I haven’t felt very strong.

“So, there’s something when you are not feeling very strong where you push yourself and I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to play these kind of characters that pull out every bit of strength and remind me that I can be strong. I guess I am a little bit stronger.”

Angelina Jolie (R) and son Maddox Jolie-Pitt attend the Japan premiere of 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' on October 03, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Christopher Jue/Getty Images for Disney)

Last month, Pitt, 55, and Jolie's eldest child, Maddox, broke his silence on his relationship with his father three years after their alleged altercation.

When asked if his relationship with Pitt was "over" the teenager, who is currently a student at Yonsei University in South Korea, said: "Whatever happens, happens."