Charlize Theron (born August 7, 1975) is a South African-American actress, best known for such movies as Monster, Hancock, The Italian Job (2003), The Devil's Advocate, Ĉon Flux, The Road, Young Adult, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Atomic Blonde.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 Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest but got attention as the ruthless girlfriend of James Spader 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 Action Girl in Mad Max: Fury Road, in which she was the Supporting Protagonist.
This actress' works provide examples of:
- Action Girl: As Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road, a very memorable example which quickly catapulted her to action heroine stardom. Also as Lorraine Broughton in Atomic Blonde and the title character in Ĉon Flux.
- Beauty Inversion: Her role in Monster, in which she gained weight and shaved her eyebrows, among other things, and which won her an Oscar, is considered a poster child for this being used as Oscar Bait, although it's widely agreed that unlike many cases of this, she actually had the acting ability to back it up.
- Chronically Killed Actor: 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 franchise.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Has played quite a few characters who have this, Aileen Wuornos and Imperator Furiosa being the most glaring examples.note
- Fashionista: While not generally known as a model, she has been the face of Chanel's J'Adore campaign for over a decade.
- Hidden Depths: One of her lesser known talents is that she can perfectly imitate a goat, due to growing up on a farm.
- Its Pronounced Tro Pay: Her last name is pronounced 'therron', but usually gets mistakenly said as 'there-on'.
- Large Ham: In both Monster and Snow White and the Huntsman.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: 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.
- Method Acting: 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 The Devil's Advocate 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.
- Pretty in Mink: In Men of Honor, 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.
- Rape as Drama: Happens to many of her characters. Joked in a press conference that she sometimes thinks that producers say of a character "Does she get raped and cry? Send it to Charlize."
- She Really Can Act: 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. Roger Ebert called her work 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.
- Statuesque Stunner: At 5'10" she tends to tower over her castmates. Not that anyone's complaining.