Cards On The Table: Charlize Theron
At a time when everybody seems to take themselves deathly seriously, Charlize Theron is a bona fide breath of fresh air. Funny, candid, self-deprecating – the South African actress is so affable, her’s is a success that everyone can celebrate. And between a wealth of awards and a string of blockbuster hits, the star of Mad Max: Fury Road and Monster has accomplishments that to rival any of her peers. Not that she seems impressed by fame or its trappings. “It’s very nice,” she tells RightCasino, “but success in your career only contributes so much to living a successful life.”
Are you a gambler?
Yes, absolutely. Mine is a profession where chance plays a recurring role. You either embrace that or you find something else to do for a living.
Is it true you started out life wanting to be a dancer?
Yes, a ballerina to be precise. I say that because we now live in a world where people hear ‘dancer’ and they think ‘stripper’. It didn’t happen but then Hollywood did happen and so I went off in a different direction.
Is it hard to transition from model/actress to out-and-out actress?
I was very, very lucky. Even when I was starting out in movies, I was being asked to play roles that called for me to do something more complex than simply standing around and looking nice. I’m sure I could very easily have been typecast but, like I said, luck and chance are both a factor in this line of work. I was very lucky.
What was Nelson Mandela like?
What can you say about Nelson Mandela? It was after Monster came out that he asked me if I’d like to meet him. Naturally, I was overwhelmed. I’ve been around famous people a lot of my adult life but nothing can prepare you for meeting a true legend. ‘Star struck’ just doesn’t do it justice. But what was extraordinary was how unextraordinary the man was. He wasn’t a walking embodiment of human goodness – he was just a lovely man with a wonderful smile and a keen interest in young people.
How does Madiba compare with Barack Obama?
Oh God, that was so embarrassing! I met the president when I was on the Jimmy Kimmel show. He was such a gentleman but I was so jittery. Is it true I invited him to a strip club? Sort of. He was talking about reaching a different demographic by appearing on Jimmy’s show and I said that, if it was a different demographic he was hoping to reach, I could always take him to a strip club! I really shouldn’t be allowed to talk to people.
Is there a kind of film you’d like to make more of?
Comedies! I made A Million Ways To Die In The West with Seth MacFarlane, who I completely adore, and that was a blast. But for the most part, I don’t get offered those parts. Not that I’ve been stereotyped – I’ve been asked to play all sorts of parts. I assume producers simply don’t associate me with being funny.
Mad Max: Fury Road wasn’t a comedy but it did seem to mark a departure for you as an actress.
That role and that movie were wonderful for so many reasons. Imperator Furiosa (main image) as a role for a woman in an action movie is without precedent. The first time I read the script, I couldn’t get over how much of the film’s emotional drive came from her rather than Max [Tom Hardy]. This was no damsel in distress – this was me as an actress being asked to reveal the truth of being a woman, to show that we thrive on adversity, that we’re just as complicated and conflicted as men.
We thought you might receive an Academy Award nomination…
That’s very nice of ‘we’.
That said, you already have an Oscar to your name. What was it like to win it?
It was lovely but I think Matt Damon’s pretty much nailed the whole Oscars experience when he said that it’s nice to win it young as you’re pretty quickly aware that, were you to spend your whole life trying to win one, winning it could only make you so happy. Of course, it’s wonderful to win awards but they only mean so much. Invest it with too much meaning and that way insanity lies.
So, what’s next for Charlize Theron?
I’ve been very busy recently. I’ve made a film with Joel Edgerton and his brother Nash which I’m proud of. I’m in Fast & Furious 8 which comes out in April. I made Atomic Blonde with James McAvoy. And I’ve made a movie with Jason Reitman called Tully (above) which I really like because it was a chance to play someone who’s pretty far removed from anyone I’ve played before.
What’s your poison?
The perfect martini at the perfect time of day. That’s guaranteed to make me happy.
And finally, red or black?
Is it greedy to say both? It all depends on the day.