Speaking Saturday at the D23 Disney Expo in Anaheim, Calif., Jolie said even as a child she had an affinity for the character.
"Since I was a little girl, Maleficent was always my favorite," she said. "I was terrified of her, but I was also drawn to her. I wanted to know more about her. She had this elegance and grace, yet she was wonderfully, deliciously cruel."
Disney fans were treated to a new teaser for the live-action version of the animated classic, in which Maleficent curses the baby Aurora, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"Maleficent" is set to be released in July 2014 and is directed by Robert Stromberg, who won an art direction Oscar for "Alice in Wonderland." The film features actors Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville.