It is common, when interviewing any interpreter of more or less renown by phone, to have to pay the toll to representatives and advertisers who join the conversation through various lines, checking that nothing goes off the previously agreed route. That’s why it is pleasantly surprising to receive a call on a Thursday at dinner time and hear a gruff voice on the other end simply saying, “Hi, this is Charlize, how are you?” Charlize is Charlize Theron (Benoni, South Africa, 46 years old), Oscar winner for Monster (2003), actress and producer, one of the most respected women in the international film industry.
At the age of 15, he witnessed his abused mother shoot his father to death in self-defense. At 16 he spent a year in Milan working as a model. At 17, after a knee injury, she had to forget her dream of being a dancer and at 20 she tried her luck in Hollywood. Before turning 30, he already boasted a shelf full of awards and produced almost all the films in which he participated, anticipating a movement that today is becoming common in the mecca of cinema, that of women taking control to contribute their point of view. view.
“For at least a decade, almost all the roles I’ve played have been in films that I also produce,” she acknowledges, “when you only act, you show up there and do what you have to do; you know that everyone is doing their part. But when you produce you are responsible for everything, it is a very different environment”. She enjoys all the facets: “I love my job and I love my independence. I love being the owner of my business. There is no one aspect that I prefer over the others because I like to make each area special. Finding the balance and getting everything to fit”.
In his case, the pieces have come together with apparent ease: “I feel tremendously happy with how my life has developed. I have been able to dedicate myself to what I am passionate about. If I started over, I wouldn’t mind doing it all over again.” He values recognition, but it’s just an accessory, he says, his passion is stories: “I don’t think anyone makes movies because they want to win an award. The awards are very good, but in the end what you are looking for is to tell something. For me, the creative process has always started thinking about what story I want to share, what I want to get involved in or what topics I can’t stop thinking about”.
His curriculum includes blockbusters such as Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) or Fast & Furious 9 (2021), with independent films such asYoung Adult (2011) or Tully (2018). He is also producing acclaimed titles like the Netflix series Mindhunter. “I feel very comfortable with anyone. I like the versatility and not doing the same thing over and over again. The size of a film’s budget is secondary; what’s important is what the story is and if it’s something I want to be a part of.” Your favorite role? “The one with mother”.
She is approaching fifty, a figure that until a few years ago for actresses was equivalent to becoming invisible. However, today the role of women in this sector, as in many others, is undergoing a complete metamorphosis. “I think that there is an awareness among the big corporations and the big production companies to take the initiative and be part of the solution. It is a new awareness that has never been so present. I am optimistic. I don’t think big changes happen overnight, but now a different climate is perceived.”
The care that he applies in his career is used when choosing which causes to be a speaker for. She has been an ambassador for the United Nations since 2009 (her work with the organization focuses on the prevention of HIV and the elimination of violence against women), she has her own NGO and usually positions herself defending the rights of LGTBIQ people +.
He cedes his image on rare occasions and his collaborations with brands are long-term relationships: he has been with Dior for more than 17 years and with Breitling since 2018. Of the Swiss house’s watches he says: “I like their duality, that you can wear them with jeans or with a gala dress”. The ticking does not worry him: “Time is something that we will always want more of, but we have what we have. In the end it’s that old mantra of ‘squeeze every day because it may be the last’, well that’s what I do”. And with the same ease with which he appeared on the other end of the phone, he ends the interview: “Sorry, but I have to hang up. Thank you so much, goodbye”. Nothing to add, it’s Charlize, she rules.