[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/charlize_theron.jpg]]

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/{{The Italian Job|2003}}'', ''Film/TheDevilsAdvocate'', ''Film/AeonFlux'', ''Film/TheRoad'', ''Film/YoungAdult'', ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad'' and ''Film/AtomicBlonde''.

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:
* ActingInTheDark: She confessed that at some points in ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad'', she had no idea what she was actually filming.
* ActionGirl: As Imperator Furiosa in ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad'', the title character in ''Film/AeonFlux'' and Lorraine Broughton in ''Film/AtomicBlonde''.
* 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.
* CareerResurrection: A slower build than some, but appearing prominently in ''Film/SnowWhiteAndTheHuntsman'' and ''{{Film/Prometheus}}'' in the same year helped establish a reputation as one of Hollywood's {{Action Girl}}s in TheNewTens. With ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad'', she won the critical acclaim that brought it about. Notably she had been trying to develop ''Film/AtomicBlonde'' for years, and ''Mad Max'''s success helped guide it. A spin-off was even developed about Furiosa, rather than just having her appear in the sequel.
* 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. She's even died twice in the same [[Film/SnowWhiteAndTheHuntsman franchise]].
* 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]] She 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.
** Despite injuring her neck while filming ''Film/AeonFlux'', she still continued to do her own stunts for the rest of the production.
** Ditto with ''Film/AtomicBlonde''. She did her own stunts and kept going while having horrible pains after breaking two teeth while filming a fight scene.
* 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 the title character in ''Film/AeonFlux''.
** She also shaved her head to play Furiosa in ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad'', and did it again for re-shoots after it grew back. As a result, she had to wear a wig for ''Film/AMillionWaysToDieInTheWest''.
** More recently, she put on nearly 50 pounds for her role in ''Tully''.
* FakeAmerican: [[invoked]] She 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]]
* FakeBrit: She puts on a passable English accent for her role as Queen Ravenna.
* {{Fashionista}}: While not generally known as a model, she's the face of Christian Dior perfumes since the mid-2000s, "J'adore" especially.
* FunnyCharacterBoringActor: Inverted. Known for playing various dark characters, and she's found herself playing a lot of humorless Ice Queens in TheNewTens. In interviews she's very goofy, and claims that when she met Barack Obama, she accidentally invited him to a strip club. She also happily describes herself as a {{Gasshole}} on set.
* HiddenDepths: One of her lesser known talents is that she can perfectly imitate a goat, due to growing up on a farm.
* ItsPronouncedTroPay: Her last name is pronounced 'Trone', but usually gets mistakenly said as 'there-on'.
* 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.
* MoneyDearBoy: The Sony email hacks revealed that Creator/ChrisHemsworth was being paid $10 million to do ''Film/TheHuntsmanWintersWar''. Charlize refused to reprise her role unless she was paid the same amount. As she was a proven Box Office draw, she was granted this.
* 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.
** In a 1999 issue of ''Magazine/VanityFair'', which discussed Charlize as an up-and-coming actress, she did a FanserviceCover where she [[NakedInMink wore nothing but a full length white fox coat]].
* PlayingAgainstType: Her comedic role in ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' as childish CloudCuckoolander Rita Leeds [[spoiler: who turns out to be mentally retarded,]] a marked stark contrast to her action or dramatic fare.
* 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."]]
* [[SugarWiki/HeReallyCanAct She Really Can Act]]: [[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.
* StatuesqueStunner: At 5'10" she tends to tower over her castmates. Not that anyone's complaining.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** She was offered a part in ''{{Film/Showgirls}}'' but turned it down, not wanting to appear nude. She changed her mind by the time ''Film/TheDevilsAdvocate'' came along.
** She was meant to play Elizabeth Shaw in ''Prometheus'' but a scheduling conflict led her to drop out. When her schedule freed up, Noomi Rapace had been cast as Elizabeth - so Charlize played Meredith Vickers instead.
** She dropped out of ''J. Edgar'' to star in ''Film/SnowWhiteAndTheHuntsman''.
----