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Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron

Birthday: 7 August 1975, Benoni, Transvaal, South Africa
Height: 177 cm

Charlize Theron was born in Benoni, a city in the greater Johannesburg-area, in South Africa, the only child of Gerda Theron (née Gerda Jacoba Aletta Maritz) and Charles Jacobus Theron. She was raise ...Show more

Charlize Theron
[on her weak teeth in the 1980s from jaundice, during a 2012 interview] My early childhood was quite Show more [on her weak teeth in the 1980s from jaundice, during a 2012 interview] My early childhood was quite devastating. I had no teeth until I was 11. I had these fangs because I had jaundice when I was a kid and I was put on so many antibiotics that my teeth rotted. They cut them out. So I never had milk teeth. That was tough, you know, being in school having photos taken while I was pretending I had teeth. It was hideous. Hide
[on Prometheus (2012) co-star Michael Fassbender] I saw him in Shame (2011), in which he plays a sex Show more [on Prometheus (2012) co-star Michael Fassbender] I saw him in Shame (2011), in which he plays a sex addict, and I didn't stop thinking about that film for weeks. No disrespect to the people who were nominated for Oscars, but the fact he wasn't to me was utter bullshit. I think he's incredible. He's so effortless that I want to punch him! It just seeps out of him. Hide
As you get older, you get wrinkles and your boobs sag. But you get wisdom, too. So it's not all bad! As you get older, you get wrinkles and your boobs sag. But you get wisdom, too. So it's not all bad!
Look, I can't forget I'm a woman. I love being a woman and I love being feminine, so that will alway Show more Look, I can't forget I'm a woman. I love being a woman and I love being feminine, so that will always be part of my work, obviously. But I approach the material with a more humanistic approach. I think that kind of stuff can become over-earnest if you approach it with a big hammer. Personally, I've been lucky. Maybe it's the way I was raised, but I know right from wrong and I know wrong when I walk into a room--and if I feel it's wrong, I walk right out again. Hide
[on her mother shooting her father] I don't think you can go through something like that and not kin Show more [on her mother shooting her father] I don't think you can go through something like that and not kind of walk with it, hand in hand. But you try very hard to move on. Hide
There were a lot of pros to winning the Oscar, but a lot of cons, too. Suddenly, it all became about Show more There were a lot of pros to winning the Oscar, but a lot of cons, too. Suddenly, it all became about transformation. Every movie I did after Monster (2003) was jumped upon as yet another transformation. Even when I only had dirt on my face, like in North Country (2005) it was transformation. Hide
[on being cast in varying types of roles] Every time, you start something from scratch. You can't re Show more [on being cast in varying types of roles] Every time, you start something from scratch. You can't really come into the new job carrying leftovers. But for me it's somewhat easy because I've never worked with two directors that are similar. I've never worked with material that you approached the same way. I think that's what makes it fun and makes it interesting. Hide
[on her mother shooting her father, who was in a drunken rage, which was ruled self-defense] You kno Show more [on her mother shooting her father, who was in a drunken rage, which was ruled self-defense] You know, people drank. Some people drank more, but it was never considered that this might be a problem. It was just the way it was then. Hide
I don't know how to say this without sounding strange. But I feel like having this tragedy [her moth Show more I don't know how to say this without sounding strange. But I feel like having this tragedy [her mother shot her father] at such a young age has given me a leg up from other people. Because, man, from 16, I knew the value of life and I knew how quickly it could be taken away. And from that moment on, I made a choice to either swim or to drown, you know? Hide
[on playing unglamorous characters yet posing for glamorous spreads] Well, guess what? I'm a sexual Show more [on playing unglamorous characters yet posing for glamorous spreads] Well, guess what? I'm a sexual creature. There's nothing wrong with that. Why do we have to be ashamed of being so many different things? Why do we have to be only one thing, a good mother or a hooker? I don't think that what's under my clothes is evil. I'm a woman, I'm feminine. And I like the way I look. And I celebrate that. And I don't make excuses for that. Hide
I do all this work with Guillermo Arriaga on The Burning Plain (2008) script, we explore all these t Show more I do all this work with Guillermo Arriaga on The Burning Plain (2008) script, we explore all these themes, and then we come on these junkets and it's like, "So you don't play a glamorous role again." Sometimes I just want to look at people and say, "Have you really thought this through?". You know, how many great stories can you tell in a Dior dress? Or is it because I've done a J'adore perfume ad that I can only be one type of woman? I don't think women are that. We are many things. One day we wake up and we want to put on jeans and T-shirt, and the next day we want to fucking have our hair done. But that doesn't mean that I don't have access to raw emotion. Hide
I don't believe in charmed lives. I think that tragedy is part of the lesson you learn to lift yours Show more I don't believe in charmed lives. I think that tragedy is part of the lesson you learn to lift yourself up, to pick yourself up and to move on. Hide
[on Johnny Depp] There is nothing about working with Johnny as an actor that . . . um . . . starts t Show more [on Johnny Depp] There is nothing about working with Johnny as an actor that . . . um . . . starts to feel really comfortable or kind of falls into a rhythm, which is what I think makes him so brilliant. He would deliver a line and every single time it would have a different rhythm or a different . . . anything. Which is so incredible to work with because, for me, acting is really listening and responding to what somebody is giving you. He is a really gorgeous man. He is also a wonderful, instinctive actor. I loved watching him work, watching him layering on the complexities of his character. Hide
Looks alone won't get you that far. It may get you in the door, but there's always somebody younger, Show more Looks alone won't get you that far. It may get you in the door, but there's always somebody younger, somebody prettier. You have to rely on something else. Hide
I think of myself as a highly sexual creature. I have to use that. I have no choice. I like it. I di Show more I think of myself as a highly sexual creature. I have to use that. I have no choice. I like it. I didn't grow up with a mother telling me what was under my clothes was bad or evil. Hide
I've always been very proud to be a South African and I've always been very honest to people about t Show more I've always been very proud to be a South African and I've always been very honest to people about that. And whatever I can do in my power, I promise you, I will do. I don't think it's too much pressure. I think it's our duty as citizens of this country. You don't have to win an Oscar to do something good for your country. We all can do that. If I can be an encouragement for that I'll be glad to be that. Hide
[responding to a reporter's question as to which side of the bed she sleeps on] The side that you're Show more [responding to a reporter's question as to which side of the bed she sleeps on] The side that you're not on. Hide
I do like the challenge of finding material that people don't want to risk a lot of money on and tha Show more I do like the challenge of finding material that people don't want to risk a lot of money on and that studios don't necessarily jump to go, "Yeah! We want to tell that story." And how could I not after I had done something like Monster (2003)? Everybody wondered how a movie like that could be successful. Hide
I think the reason why female directors are so successful is because they're not just telling women Show more I think the reason why female directors are so successful is because they're not just telling women stories. They might be telling stories that affect women but their studies on men are done so well so that they're universal directors. So I really believe this is a talent, and just understanding the human conflict is so good that they can tell any genre, any kind of story, and that's why I think they're doing so well. Hide
I don't really talk about my personal life and I don't really talk about my relationships. I'm not a Show more I don't really talk about my personal life and I don't really talk about my relationships. I'm not a big partier. I like the simplicity of my life, and I've chosen the kind of life I really want to live. I don't think my life is boring at all. Hide
[on a possible biopic of her life] God, I hope not. I've been working harder than anything in my lif Show more [on a possible biopic of her life] God, I hope not. I've been working harder than anything in my life to try and keep my life sacred. I really don't mind when I'm in front of a camera and playing a character I'm comfortable with . . . but I don't necessarily like the spotlight to be about me--not at all. The idea of sitting in Cannes and watching that . . . ugh. No. Hide
[on being congratulated by Nelson Mandela and South African president Thabo Mbeki after winning a Be Show more [on being congratulated by Nelson Mandela and South African president Thabo Mbeki after winning a Best Actress Oscar for Monster (2003)] I don't think I want to be a pin-up for anything! The people who inspire me are the ones who just live life and live it in a way that's good-natured. Do unto others what you want done unto yourself. It's not that hard. Don't screw people over. Enjoy life, travel, adventure. Enjoy. I try to just live my life in as good and authentic a way as possible. And I just wish people would write about that and the matter-of-fact way that that is, rather than, "On a summer's day, her mother shot her father." It's like I walk around with this badge. I live my life the way I want to live my life. It's like I have chosen this life. I want to be able to go to sleep at night and feel that I'm not haunted and I'm happy and I enjoyed my day in London and that I enjoy my friends and my love, and that if this is all gone tomorrow, like that man who died so horribly in front of me when I was five, that it was good. Hide
My mother was an incredible example to me. I can't imagine going through life without her. I think s Show more My mother was an incredible example to me. I can't imagine going through life without her. I think she has influenced who I am, but without intent really. She would always say, "That's how I feel, but you should figure it out for yourself." I think of my life now and I realize that the way I was brought up is why I can deal with so much now. I'm responsible for my own actions, my own decisions. So it's a weird one, because she didn't want me to be her, but I think now, at 32, I look at her and I kind of go, "Wow, I somehow aspire to be you." I think she really values me being independent and being myself. Hide
[on bad habits and guilty pleasures] Anything fried I'll take. Are you kidding me? I will fry my sho Show more [on bad habits and guilty pleasures] Anything fried I'll take. Are you kidding me? I will fry my shoe and eat it. Hide
[on her role in Hancock (2008)] I keep myself guessing. I get bored so quickly. I just really liked Show more [on her role in Hancock (2008)] I keep myself guessing. I get bored so quickly. I just really liked the material. And the girl was cool. I wasn't ticking any boxes. I just try and do good material and how it gets made is secondary . . . and anyway, it's really nice to get a decent paycheck. Hide
I'm 50-50 on glamour stuff. I'd rather put on a pair of jeans and get on my Harley and act like a gu Show more I'm 50-50 on glamour stuff. I'd rather put on a pair of jeans and get on my Harley and act like a guy. Hide
[in 2016, on South Africa] I have a lot of things I should probably sort out in therapy about my rel Show more [in 2016, on South Africa] I have a lot of things I should probably sort out in therapy about my relationship with my country. Because it's affected me way more than I've ever acknowledged. And it was only when I got older that I started realizing that I had a lot of anger; there was a lot of unresolved stuff--apartheid, health care, AIDS, poverty--that still very much affects me . . . It makes you realize that the circumstances of your formative years, it leaves a real scar--it marks you. It's the one thing that gets me really angry, really emotional. It's a lot of fucking suffering, and unnecessary suffering. Hide
I think women are way more conflicted than men, and I think we come from a society that's very comfo Show more I think women are way more conflicted than men, and I think we come from a society that's very comfortable with the Madonna / whore complex, you know. We're either really good hookers or really good mothers. Hide
The reason I did North Country (2005) wasn't just because of what the women were going through. I wa Show more The reason I did North Country (2005) wasn't just because of what the women were going through. I was really fascinated to understand where the men came from. But what those women suffered was appalling. Just appalling. The real lady that this happened to is still in therapy and on medication. When you meet her, you understand that this has taken a real toll on her. Hide
[on the revelation that her mother shot and killed her father while he was in a drunken rage, which Show more [on the revelation that her mother shot and killed her father while he was in a drunken rage, which was ruled self-defense] I was always Mama's girl, and I always felt like her protector. Hide
If you wouldn't wear your dog, please don't wear any fur. If you wouldn't wear your dog, please don't wear any fur.
[when asked if beauty is a problem for her] No. But it seems to be a problem for journalists. [when asked if beauty is a problem for her] No. But it seems to be a problem for journalists.
I've never been a fan of labels. And I'm not a big fan of overly justifying bad behavior, or why peo Show more I've never been a fan of labels. And I'm not a big fan of overly justifying bad behavior, or why people are the way they are. I think it's a cop-out. And I don't have a lot of empathy for that. Hide
[on her role in Monster (2003)] I was trying to make the correlation between Aileen Wuornos and her Show more [on her role in Monster (2003)] I was trying to make the correlation between Aileen Wuornos and her experiences when she was very young. And I was reminded of something that happened to me. I was five years old and we were driving . . . all the cars stopped because a truck had rolled over and was ablaze. The doors were jammed and there was a man trapped inside. In South Africa everybody carries a weapon, and the man begged for someone to shoot him because he didn't want to burn to death. Nobody could get him out of the cab, so somebody shot him. It was horrific, but definitely a moment that made me have a great value for life. Other things in life have taught me not to take a moment for granted. Hide
[on her role in Monster (2003)] I never got offered parts like that, never. And it took a woman, a f Show more [on her role in Monster (2003)] I never got offered parts like that, never. And it took a woman, a first-time female director, to offer me that role. Paul Haggis [the director of Crash (2004) and In the Valley of Elah (2007)] recently said to me, "You know, often it's the material that will define an actor, but you didn't do that. You defined yourself with what you chose to do." And I thought that was a nice compliment. Hide
People just aren't willing to see conflict, or ugliness or the more flawed side of life through a fe Show more People just aren't willing to see conflict, or ugliness or the more flawed side of life through a female character's eyes. I mean, can you imagine a woman playing Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (1976)? When Robert De Niro does it it's fine, [but] people are very uncomfortable about seeing that through a woman's eyes. We aren't allowed complexity. Hide
I'm very attracted to characters who don't necessarily make it easy to be loved. I'm very attracted to characters who don't necessarily make it easy to be loved.
I think the greatest characters are the unlikable ones, but mainly men get to play them. Rarely do w Show more I think the greatest characters are the unlikable ones, but mainly men get to play them. Rarely do women. And they are so delicious. Like Nicole Kidman in To Die For (1995), I wanted that character to live next to me. Did I want her to be my daughter? No. But those characters are so interesting. Hide
[after becoming a United States citizen in 2007] You're stuck with me now. [after becoming a United States citizen in 2007] You're stuck with me now.
I've always said that I worry about being with a man who doesn't flirt. I've always said that I worry about being with a man who doesn't flirt.
All of that stuff is really nice. I do have a bit of a guilt--I don't know if it's the African in me Show more All of that stuff is really nice. I do have a bit of a guilt--I don't know if it's the African in me--but I'm one person and how much makeup do I need? I have a normal-sized closet. I donate things. I don't have a nature in me to want things in excess. I actually don't like it. A lot of times, I will auction it off and have it go to charity. And my friends benefit a lot. I call it Narnia. When I see a girlfriend and say, "I like that top," she's like, "Narnia, from your closet.". Hide
[on the media's reaction to her appearance in In the Valley of Elah (2007)] It just bummed me out be Show more [on the media's reaction to her appearance in In the Valley of Elah (2007)] It just bummed me out because I was, "What do you want? Do you want me to play a detective from Albuquerque who's a single mom in a Dior dress?". The way they focused on my appearance, I felt like it hurt [the film] and I was embarrassed because [director] Paul Haggis had worked really hard, and just because I had a ponytail that's what they were talking about. Hide
[on accents] At first I found it really hard using three different English accents: South African, f Show more [on accents] At first I found it really hard using three different English accents: South African, faking the American, faking the accent required by the job. I decided to make it easier for myself and just do one. I haven't lost my culture, just my accent. Hide
There's this kind of idea that someone like me would be horrible with women. That acknowledgement th Show more There's this kind of idea that someone like me would be horrible with women. That acknowledgement that if you look a certain way, you can't be a girl's girl. I have way deeper relationships with girls than I do with guys. I get along with guys. The women in my life are the ones who move me. It sounds so hokey, but I've been blessed with incredible women in my life. Hide
Fur isn't necessary. It doesn't make sense to me to let these animals suffer for fashion. Fur isn't necessary. It doesn't make sense to me to let these animals suffer for fashion.
[in 2016, on her mother Gerda] I am the product of the mother who raised me. My mom would wake up ev Show more [in 2016, on her mother Gerda] I am the product of the mother who raised me. My mom would wake up every morning, get me ready for school, make my food, get me on the bus and then go run the third largest road construction business in South Africa--and do it in style, wearing suede boots, knee-high boots. I was so impressed by that. Hide
What kind of stories can you tell with glamor? There are very few stories of conflict you can tell, Show more What kind of stories can you tell with glamor? There are very few stories of conflict you can tell, right? I look for good stories; I'm not driven by anything other than good filmmakers and good stories. And then my job as an actor is to service those stories as well as I possibly can. The physical is the last thing that drives me. Hide
I live a very simple life. I don't have to make those giant movies. I don't have a yacht or a privat Show more I live a very simple life. I don't have to make those giant movies. I don't have a yacht or a private plane. As long as I can maintain this life, which is pretty low-maintenance and simple, then all of a sudden you don't have to worry about all that stuff. I don't have to take a job to pay a mortgage on a house I can't afford. Hide
Women have conquered the world. And with everything we go through, it's about time we had a female p Show more Women have conquered the world. And with everything we go through, it's about time we had a female president. I don't think we're that far away, but it should have happened already. I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary Clinton runs--I really admire her. Hide
[on the importance of the Toronto Film Festival for smaller films] If people, critics respond to the Show more [on the importance of the Toronto Film Festival for smaller films] If people, critics respond to the film there, it starts a nice little wave of chat, which for a movie like North Country (2005) is really important. It's one of those films that travels by word of mouth. Hide
[on marriage] I'm happy for people who want to get married, but it's not my thing. I'm extremely hap Show more [on marriage] I'm happy for people who want to get married, but it's not my thing. I'm extremely happy in my relationship and I would love to have kids. Hide
It's not like I've been [offered] any great glamorous roles that had great conflict and great storyt Show more It's not like I've been [offered] any great glamorous roles that had great conflict and great storytelling. But I'm not going to be picky, because they're hard to come by. If I sit around waiting for a good, glamorous story to come around, I'm probably never going to work. So if you don't consider my character [in In the Valley of Elah (2007)] beautiful, I'm sorry, but that's really me. That's my natural hair color. That's me with very little make-up. There's no prosthetics. That's what I look like. I think we're starting to live in a culture where we're so celebrity-obsessed that we're starting to believe that when we see celebrities, they're supposed to look like they do on magazine covers. But that's about people doing hair and make-up for you, and wearing big gowns. I look for roles involving good stories and good filmmakers. And it's my job as an actor to service those stories as best I possibly can. It's not about how I look physically. Physical's the last thing I think of. Hide
I wasn't technically the greatest, but I succeeded and got lead roles because when I died, I died, a Show more I wasn't technically the greatest, but I succeeded and got lead roles because when I died, I died, and when I was spinning into madness, I was spinning into madness. Hide
I live a very simple life. I don't have to make these giant movies. I don't have a yacht or a privat Show more I live a very simple life. I don't have to make these giant movies. I don't have a yacht or a private plane. As long as I can maintain this life, which is pretty low-maintenance and simple, then all of a sudden you don't have to worry about all that stuff. It's such a blessed place to be in. I don't have to take a job to pay a mortgage on a house that I can't afford. My life comes first, then my job. I'm incredibly lucky to be in a position where I don't have to work all the time to live. Hide
[responding to a question as to why she doesn't have kids] I actually have seven children no one kno Show more [responding to a question as to why she doesn't have kids] I actually have seven children no one knows about--in a cave. They can see Russia from their house, too. Hide
It's great fun when you have three people coming to your house, and one's doing your nails, one's do Show more It's great fun when you have three people coming to your house, and one's doing your nails, one's doing your hair and one's doing your makeup. Two hours later, you look gorgeous. But that's not my life. Hide
I don't avoid glamorous roles. I played Britt Ekland [in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004)] Show more I don't avoid glamorous roles. I played Britt Ekland [in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004)], who is one of the most beautiful women alive. But I don't see so many. You tell me one glamorous role that is in a good movie you have seen in the last ten years. My point is, it's not a case of wanting to be glamorous or not. It's about wanting to tell a good story. And the physical is at the bottom of the list for me. Your job, as an actor, is to be a clean canvas for your director, and you have to tell the story as authentically as possible. Hide
[on reconnecting with her roots in South Africa] I've gone back several times. The only thing that r Show more [on reconnecting with her roots in South Africa] I've gone back several times. The only thing that really stuck with me the first time I went back was walking through the house that I grew up in, and everything seemed so small. It was such a bizarre feeling. I was like, "My mother made me sleep in a closet.". Hide
The people who inspire me are the ones who just live life and live it in a way that's good-natured. Show more The people who inspire me are the ones who just live life and live it in a way that's good-natured. Do unto others what you want done unto yourself. Hide
I don't know if I would be who I am today if I'd grown up in a different country. In our house the n Show more I don't know if I would be who I am today if I'd grown up in a different country. In our house the news was always on, the newspaper was always on the dining room table and my parents had a real thirst for politics, and that's how I grew up. A lot of my American friends grew up in a different way, and because of what's happened in America in recent years, they are asking questions, playing catch-up. But I can understand that, because they were living in a country that was comfy and cozy. I wasn't. I want to know what is going on. I have an interest in world politics--how can you not when you live on this Earth? I'm just flabbergasted when people don't give a shit. Hide
We all understand situations where it's swim or drown. Sometimes we surprise ourselves when we start Show more We all understand situations where it's swim or drown. Sometimes we surprise ourselves when we start swimming and see how well we can do it. Hide
You go through situations that don't work out, and then all of a sudden you have this baby in your h Show more You go through situations that don't work out, and then all of a sudden you have this baby in your hands and you forget about all of that. Hide
I can remember wing up in South Africa] we'd have to travel an hour to the nearest drive-in cinema, Show more I can remember wing up in South Africa] we'd have to travel an hour to the nearest drive-in cinema, and we'd go and never really knew what was playing. But once you got there, it was an hour's drive back, so you may as well watch whatever it was. I was about eight or nine and Fatal Attraction (1987) was playing and Mom didn't want to turn all the way around, so she was like, "Well, this is as good a way for you to learn as any.". Hide
People want to think that I am this tortured soul, that my work is drawn only from this one well. An Show more People want to think that I am this tortured soul, that my work is drawn only from this one well. And though I would never sit here and say that it didn't mark me, or mould me into the person that I am, my life has had many painful journeys and heartbreaks since my father died, many of which I draw on for my work. Hide
Charlize Theron's FILMOGRAPHY
as Actor (81)
Charlize Theron Charlize Theron'S roles
Candy Kendall
Candy Kendall

Marlo
Marlo

Stella Bridger
Stella Bridger

Herself - Hostess
Herself - Hostess

Mavis Gary
Mavis Gary

Pria Lavesque
Pria Lavesque

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