'Maleficent': Sam Riley Says Angelina Jolie Took Him Under Her Wing

Sam Riley Angelina Jolie Split - H 2012
<p>Sam Riley Angelina Jolie Split - H 2012</p>   |   Getty Images
"There are worse jobs," the "On the Road" star says of working alongside the actress/Earth mother.

Sam Riley plays literary icon Sal Paradise in the big-screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac's On the Road -- but in his upcoming film, Maleficent, the British actor portrays Angelina Jolie's "lackey."

"I play a raven -- I'm Angelina's lackey, basically," the 32-year-old actor said Thursday at a Peggy Siegal Company-hosted NYC screening of On the Road.

That's not a bad gig?

"No, there are worse jobs," he told The Hollywood Reporter, adding that Jolie's make-up in the Disney Pictures' film is "insane" but "she's not Method. She's very nice. She took me under her wing, so to speak. We had a great time."

PHOTO: Angelina Jolie as 'Maleficent'

Jolie, 37, portrays the iconic Sleeping Beauty villain in the live-action origins story, which began filming over the summer. Directed by Robert Stromberg, the movie -- slated for release in March 2014 -- also stars Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora and several members of the Jolie-Pitt brood: Pax, 9, Zahara, 7, and Vivienne, 4.

Riley, who jokingly described his character Diaval as a "mird" (man-slash-bird), called Jolie "a consummate professional, so I admire that very much."

Riley, meanwhile, will soon be seen in limited release Dec. 21 as Kerouac's alter ego in the Walter Salles-directed On the Road, co-starring Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund and Kirsten Dunst. Riley's other credits include 2007's Control, in which he portrayed Joy Division's Ian Curtis, and the Saoirse Ronan-starring vampire thriller Byzantium.

Twitter: @ErinLCarlson

Email: erin.carlson@thr.com