Charlize Theron (born August 7, 1975) is a UsefulNotes/{{South Africa}}n-American actress, best known for such movies as ''Film/{{Monster}}'', ''Film/{{Hancock}}'', ''Film/TheItalianJob2003'', ''Film/TheDevilsAdvocate'', ''Film/AeonFlux'', ''Film/TheRoad'', ''Film/YoungAdult'' and ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad''.

After working as a model in her teens, she took a one-way trip to Los Angeles in 1998 with the hope of getting into films. She played a non-speaking victim role in ''Film/ChildrenOfTheCornIIIUrbanHarvest'' but got attention as the ruthless girlfriend of Creator/JamesSpader in ''2 Days in the Valley''; this marked the beginning of her tendency to play characters who get physically punished.

After a string of major roles in not entirely unforgettable movies, she played serial killer Aileen Wuornos in ''Monster'' and got the Academy Award for Best Actress. Since then she's sought out complex and sometimes unsympathetic roles in quality pictures. She was highly praised for her work as the {{Jerkass}} protagonist of ''Young Adult'', and the fandom went wild when she shaved her head and went ActionGirl in ''Mad Max: Fury Road'', in which she was the SupportingProtagonist.

!!This actress' works provide examples of:
* BeautyInversion: Her role in ''Film/{{Monster}}'', in which she gained weight and shaved her eyebrows, among other things, and which won her an [[UsefulNotes/AcademyAward Oscar]], is considered a poster child for this being used as OscarBait, although it's widely agreed that unlike many cases of this, she actually had the acting ability to back it up.
* ChronicallyKilledActor: Has died in a wide variety of ways throughout her career: impaled by a giant plant demon; shot in the gut; committed suicide after being raped by Satan; died of cancer; executed by lethal injection; fallen from a great height; crushed to death by a spaceship falling on her, etc.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Has played quite a few characters who have this, Aileen Wuornos and Imperator Furiosa being the most glaring examples.[[note]]Also true of Theron herself, inasmuch as her dad was an abusive alcoholic who beat her mother and verbally threatened both her and her mother, until Gerda Theron shot and killed him in self-defence.[[/note]]
* DoingItForTheArt: [[invoked]] Says that her main motivation is the chance to work with people such as Creator/JohnFrankenheimer, Creator/RidleyScott, Creator/JasonReitman, Creator/DiabloCody, and Creator/GeorgeMiller.
* DyeingForYourArt: [[invoked]]
** She put on over 20 pounds of weight, shaved off her eyebrows and wore prostethic teeth while filming ''Film/{{Monster}}''.
** She also dyed her hair black to play title character in ''Film/AeonFlux''.
** She also shaved her head to play Furiosa in ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad'', and did it again for reshoots after it grew back.
* FakeNationality: [[invoked]] Has yet to play someone who's actually South African (although her character in ''Film/MightyJoeYoung'' lives in Africa, she's American).[[note]]She grew up speaking Afrikaans and didn't become fluent in English until she relocated to the USA in her teens. She points out that since she learned English in America, she's never had to lose an Afrikaner accent.[[/note]]
* FanDisservice: Beautiful as she is, she's not really known for doing ''enticing'' nude scenes...
* {{Fanservice}}: ...But for every ''Film/TheDevilsAdvocate'' or ''Film/{{Monster}}'' there's a ''Film/ReindeerGames'' or ''Film/TheCiderHouseRules'', among several other exceptions to the above.
* SugarWiki/HeReallyCanAct: [[invoked]] After being considered a bit of an "It" Girl for being perfectly fine in a string of generally forgettable films, she got this for ''Monster''. Creator/RogerEbert called her work [[http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/monster-2003 one of the greatest performances in the history of the cinema]], and admitted that having walked into the film after the opening credits, he didn't even realise it was her until he saw her name in the closing credits.
* LargeHam: In both ''Monster'' and ''Film/SnowWhiteAndTheHuntsman''.
* RealLife/MeanCharacterNiceActor: [[invoked]] She won an Oscar for playing serial killer Aileen Wuornos in ''Monster'' and later portrayed the evil witch in ''Snow White and the Huntsman'' and the gobsmackingly selfish, insensitive and immature Mavis Gary in ''Young Adult''. In contrast, she herself is a UN Messenger of Peace and her charity CTAOP helps to keep young African people from HIV/AIDS. She's also involved in women's rights organisations, is pro-choice, and announced that she wouldn't get married until same-sex marriage was legal across the US.
* MethodActing: [[invoked]] Has said in interviews that she started out trying to do this, but found it too hard to keep up, especially in a film like ''Film/TheDevilsAdvocate'' where her character got so completely put through the wringer (and, it's implied, in the service of a fairly tacky story.) By the time she made ''Monster'', she'd learned to lighten the atmosphere on set by making jokes.
* OldShame: [[invoked]] While she doesn't regret getting the chance to work with Creator/JohnFrankenheimer, like everybody else involved in ''Film/ReindeerGames'' she doesn't think much of the final film.
* PrettyInMink: In ''Film/MenOfHonor'', she was a {{socialite}} in a blue dress and brown mink stole. She invites Carl, who is aspiring to the the first black American naval diver, to an all white club, just for a lark. Sunday even notes her attire to ascertain her motives.
* RapeAsDrama: Happens to many of her characters. Joked in a press conference that she sometimes thinks that producers say of a character [[BlackComedy "Does she get raped and cry? Send it to Charlize."]]
* StatuesqueStunner: At 5'10" she tends to tower over her castmates. Not that anyone's complaining.