Charlize Theron (born August 7, 1975) is a South African-American actress.
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.
She has recently come under fire for the way she raises her kids, and we'll just leave it at that.
- 1997 The Devil's Advocate as Mary Ann Lomax
- 1998 Mighty Joe Young as Jill Young
- 1999 The Astronaut's Wife as Jillian Armacost
- 1999 The Cider House Rules as Candy Kendall
- 2000 Reindeer Games as Ashley Mercer
- 2000 The Legend of Bagger Vance as Adele Invergordon
- 2003 The Italian Job as Stella Bridger
- 2003 Monster as Aileen Wuornos
- 2005 North Country as Josey Aimes
- 2005 Æon Flux as Aeon Flux
- 2007 In the Valley of Elah as Det. Emily Sanders
- 2008 Hancock as Mary Embrey
- 2009 The Road as Wife
- 2009 Young Adult as Mavis Gary
- 2012 Snow White and the Huntsman as Queen Ravenna
- 2012 Prometheus as Mereditch Vickers
- 2014 A Million Ways to Die in the West as Anna
- 2015 Mad Max: Fury Road as Imperator Furiosa
- 2017 Atomic Blonde as Lorraine Broughton
- 2017 The Fate of the Furious as Cipher
- 2018 Tully as Marlo
- 2018 Gringo as Elaine Markinson
- 2017 The Orville episode "Pria" as Pria Lavesque
This actress' works provide examples of:
- Acting in the Dark: She confessed that at some points in Mad Max: Fury Road, she had no idea what she was actually filming.
- Action Girl: As Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road, the title character in Æon Flux and Lorraine Broughton in Atomic Blonde.
- 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.
- Bi the Way: She admitted to having girlfriends and experimenting in her youth.
- Career Resurrection: A slower build than some, but appearing prominently in Snow White and the Huntsman and Prometheus in the same year helped establish a reputation as one of Hollywood's Action Girls in The New '10s. With Mad Max: Fury Road, she won the critical acclaim that brought it about. Notably she had been trying to develop Atomic Blonde for years, and Mad Max's success helped guide it.
- 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
- Doing It for the Art:
- John Frankenheimer, Ridley Scott, Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody, and George Miller. She says that her main motivation is the chance to work with people such as
- Despite injuring her neck while filming Æon Flux, she still continued to do her own stunts for the rest of the production.
- Ditto with Atomic Blonde. She did her own stunts and kept going while having horrible pains after breaking two teeth while filming a fight scene.
- Dyeing for Your Art:
- She put on over 20 pounds of weight, shaved off her eyebrows and wore prostethic teeth while filming Monster.
- She also dyed her hair black to play the title character in Æon Flux.
- She also shaved her head to play Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road, and did it again for re-shoots after it grew back. As a result, she had to wear a wig for A Million Ways to Die in the West.
- More recently, she put on nearly 50 pounds for her role in Tully.
- Fake American: She has yet to play someone who's actually South African (although her character in Mighty Joe Young lives in Africa, she's American).note
- Fake Brit: She puts on a passable English accent for her role as Queen Ravenna.
- Fan Disservice: She goes full frontal in The Devil's Advocate, but with her body absolutely covered in bloody cuts from having been raped by Satan himself, it's anything but titillating.
- Fanservice: In some of her roles, such as The Cider House Rules, Æon Flux, and Head In The Clouds.
- Fashionista: While not generally known as a model, she's the face of Christian Dior perfumes since the mid-2000s, "J'adore" especially.
- Funny Character, Boring Actor: Inverted. Known for playing various dark characters, and she's found herself playing a lot of humorless Ice Queens in The New '10s. 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.
- 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 'Trone', but usually gets mistakenly said as 'there-on'.
- Large Ham: In both Monster and Snow White and the Huntsman.
- 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.
- Money, Dear Boy: The Sony email hacks revealed that Chris Hemsworth was being paid $10 million to do The Huntsman: Winter's War. 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.
- Old Shame: While she doesn't regret getting the chance to work with John Frankenheimer, like everybody else involved in Reindeer Games she doesn't think much of the final film.
- 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.
- In a 1999 issue of Vanity Fair, which discussed Charlize as an up-and-coming actress, she did a Fanservice Cover where she wore nothing but a full length white fox coat.
- Playing Against Type: Her comedic role in Arrested Development as childish Cloud Cuckoolander Rita Leeds who turns out to be mentally retarded, a marked stark contrast to her action or dramatic fare.
- 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.
- What Could Have Been:
- She was offered a part in Showgirls but turned it down, not wanting to appear nude. She changed her mind by the time The Devil's Advocate 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 Snow White and the Huntsman.