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The Secrets Behind Charlize Theron’s Jaw-Dropping Transformations

Charlize Theron Talks Fast X With Jason Momoa

Just how many transfixing characters is one able to actress play in her career?

Because regardless of the estimate, Charlize Theronblew right past it in the past.

Whether she’s playing a determined detective or perhaps a post-apocalyptic road warrior, a serial killer or perhaps a news anchor, an evil fairy-tale queen or an immortal mercenary, Theron immerses herself completely, somehow becoming unrecognizable despite her famously stunning face.

But as the end result is commonly the samea critically acclaimed performance, hence the Oscar win and two other nominationsshe has honed her method of acting through the years, whatused to workfor her at 20 definitely not making sense to her by 40.

“I head to my trailer, I take my makeup off and I go back home,” Theron, turning 47 on August 7,told theDaily Mirror.”I have no idea how people stay static in character. I’m too lazy. I’ve got two kids to improve and I’ve dogs–t to get in the backyard.”

“I have no idea how you do this in character,” she continued. “It’s exhausting. It’s so f–king exhausting. I learned pretty in early stages, the more I release, the betterwhich, initially, was harder for mebut now i am very disciplined about any of it.”

Shutterstock; Lionsgate; Netflix; E! Illustration

Because it might not be themost prudentmove anyway, tomixthe baggage of playing a ruthless assassin for just two months with bedtime stories, it sounds as if Theron hasfigured out a work-life balance that suits her family.

Subsequently, theSouth African-bornstarkeeps notchingjobs done well,including standout reviews on her behalf submit 2020’sThe Old Guardand shedidn’t even have to leave her cageto compel in F9.

Here’s how she’sbeen setting it up done, time upon time:

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2 Days in the Valley

Not counting an uncredited part inChildren of the Corn III(“I was among the 500 kids running right through a field. I actually had my very own murder scene inside it,”Charlize Therontold Oprah Winfreyin 2005. “I acquired dragged in to the earth, kicking and screaming”), playing a hitman’s bombshell girlfriend in this 1996 noir drama marked her movie debut. (That Thing You Do!, featuringTheron as Tom Everett Scott‘s girlfriend of few words who falls deeply in love with her dentist, opened seven days later.)

“In South Africa, it is a much harder life because survival is indeed at the core of everything. It is a farm life,” Theron, who grew upin a rural area near Johannesburg, told Winfrey. “That’s partly why initially of my career, I was so uncomfortable being cast as a sex bomb. Well, initially, I was comfortable in thatI was very comfortable in my sexuality. And I thought, These folks exist, so I’ll play them. However when I started discussing how comfortable I was with that, people thought I was a freak. And I was like, ‘Wow.’ I wasn’t raised to believe some of that stuff was bad. But simultaneously, I knew that wasn’t the one thing I wanted to accomplish. People said, ‘You can’t play the lady who gets left by her boyfriend.'”

But, she told Indie London about 2 Days in the Valleyin 2007, “I had to start out somewhere , nor regret some of my films. I had been thinking about the arts, whether poetry, music or dance which was yet another element. I love telling stories. I never thought that I’d be particularly successful being an actress, though. I simply wanted to make a living.”

Brian Hamill/Warner Bros/Monarchy/Kobal/Shutterstock

The Devil’s Advocate

Playing theincreasingly depressed and disturbed wife of Keanu Reeves‘ lawyer character (because her husband is working fortheactual devil) in 1997 marked the final time Theron tried method acting.

She “really went completely with it” at the suggestion of director Taylor Hackford, she recalled to Backstage,and finished up “so unhappy the complete time we made that film.”As draining since it was, though, she added, “I’m so glad that in early stages someone pushed me into that, because from then on experience, I was like, ‘This isn’t for me personally, but how do i be as effective as I wish to be [while] not feeling the pressure of experiencing to utilize this thing that everybody lets you know is excellent?'”

Merie W Wallace/Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock

Sweet November

Before she playedan independent free spirit who invites Reeves’ tightly wound businessman to remain with her for per month (guess which…), realizing that their relationship can only just last for such a long time because she’s terminal cancer, Theron spent time learning lymphoma patients.

“I did so a great deal of research with this movie, particularly with a health care provider who had some Non-Hodgkin patients, and I talked in their mind a lot when i sat in on his meetings using them,” the actress told about her work with the 2001 romance, a remake of a 1968 film of exactly the same name.

“One boy was only 19,” she recalled, “and he explained a thing that really moved me. He said, ‘I’m lucky, because I’ve the knowledge to create each day count. I don’t take things for granted.’ Which opened my eyes, without a doubt. Yeah, it gave me a feeling of my very own place in the planet. I discovered a feeling of my very own values, I assume, and I learned that I’ve the choice to create time for items that are important if you ask me.”

To check sickly in the film, Theron lost about 16 pounds, telling People she did”lots of yoga, plenty of running.” For her diet: “Don’t eat any starches, haven’t any dinner, don’t possess anything after 5, no alcohol.”

Claudette Barius/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

The Italian Job

Theron played a sensational safe cracker, her character a fresh addition to the gang of thievesin the 2003action film, a remake of a 1969 heist flickthat had no female leads.

“It is possible to live vicariously through the characters you play,” Theron told the BBCabout planning for the admittedly fun role. “After all, I’d never be considered a safe cracker and there I was, having a specialist safe cracker teaching me how exactly to break right into a safe! It had been really interesting.”

She also had to focus on her getaway driving, a chase scenein which she’sbehind the wheel of a Mini Cooper being among the film’s premiere action sequences.

“It had been such as this constant competition between me and Mark [Wahlberg] and Jason Statham, and I must say, I walked away with my head held high,” Theron said. “I love to do my very own stunts as you actually reach take action real. It had been fun. We surely got to lower stairs and stuff and nothing bad happened, that is really good as you worry about things such as that whenever you execute a movie such as this. I only crashed 3 x!”

Fast-forward to 2020 and Theron revealed during Comic-Con@Homethat she was asked to accomplish six more weeks of training when driving than her male co-stars. “I realized there is still so much misconception around ladies in the genre, despite the fact that for the reason that film the action is actually predicated on cars,” she said. “We’d to physically execute a large amount of that stuff. The only real positive thing that arrived of this experience was that there is a genuine pressure to accomplish those stunts with the actors.”

Yes, she was insulted, Theron said. “Nonetheless it was also the matter that put a genuine fire under my ass. And I was like, ‘Alright, you guys desire to play this game? Let’s go.’ And I managed to get a spot to out-drive all those guys.”



The onscreen transformation Theron is most known for isher descent in to the lowest depths of the human experience to play real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Patty Jenkins‘ 2003 film, a performance that earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress.

“We never discussed it such as this big thing, like some aim’We’re gonna gain 30 pounds,'” Theron told SplicedWire, noting how Wuornosgrew up homelessand gave birth to a kid at 13.”It wasn’t about getting fat. Aileen wasn’t fat. Aileen carried scars on her behalf body from her lifestyle, and when I’d attended get this to movie with my bodyphysically I’m very athleticI have no idea that I’d have felt the items Aileen felt with her body. It had been about addressing a location where I felt nearer to how Aileen was living. I didn’t desire to look within my body and see my natural muscle. That sort of thing could have thrown me off completely in attempting to be her.”

She eschewed a wig and only hairstylistKatie Swanson distressing Theron’s own tresses to accomplish Wuornos’ uncared-for tresses and had her eyebrows bleached and thinned to next to nothing.

Though it could look as though she’s wearing a full-on mask of plastic, the only real prosthetics were on Theron’s eyelids to create them heavier, and the complete process took just a little less than one hour.Makeupartist Toni G airbrushed layers of translucent washes of tattoo ink,texturized with green marble sealant, to provide Theron’s face a weather-beaten, hard-life look,andArt Sakamoto crafted dentures filled with stained, crooked teeth. She also wore brown contacts to cover her blue eyes.

“By enough time we began the makeup and hair tests, we’d gotten very much accustomed to my [Aileen] face,” Therondistributed to Winfreyin 2005. “I stayed inside it quite often while I was on set. I’d wear Aileen’s clothes continuously, have my hair just how she would, therefore the crew really surely got to know me as Aileen.”

For her weight, “I simply thought, ‘I’ll observe how much I could gain,'” she said. Luckily, the procedure began “over Christmas, so that it was perfect. I finished everybody’s desserts.”


THE LIFE SPAN and Death of Peter Sellers

Swedish actress Britt Eklandmarried ThePink PantherstarPeter Sellersin 1964, instantly boosting her very own celebrity profileand Theron played her in this 2004 HBO biopic, costarring Geoffrey Rushbecause the iconic and legendarily complicatedactor.

When she discovered the film had been made, Ekland, a Bond girl inTHE PERSON With the Golden Gun, threatened case, saying Theron was too tall and otherwise not right for the part. “This actress is 6-feet-tall, I’m 5-feet-5 inches; she actually is 27, I was 20,” she reportedly said. “It really is nonsense.” (For the record, Theron is 5-foot-10.)

But Ekland got over it once she met the Oscar winner, and also accompanied Theron to the film’s premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and got very emotional watching the movie, which also had a theatrical release in the U.K.

Jasin Boland/Paramount/Mtv/Kobal/Shutterstock

on Flux

To begin with, Theron got a wicked haircut to play the title rebel warrior in the 2005 sci-fi film, predicated on thecult-favorite animated MTV series set 400 years later on.

“I’d be completely lost without wardrobe and makeup and hair and just walking onto a collection,” she told CBS News at that time. “I believe all those elements are what type of can help you transform and be. And, you understand, it gets harder the longer I’m available, because you are more recognizable. And I don’t want visitors to go watching a film watching Charlize Theron.”

After gaining weight for Monster, she trained for four months before filming, doing dance moves; practicing gymnastics, trampolineand acrobatic use Cirque du Soleil gymnast Terry Bartlett; and learning components of karate, judo, Capoiera and Krav Maga.

“I’m not just a cartoon and I cannot run around in a G-string and do splits,” she told the GW Hatchetat that time. But shedid attemptthe majority of her very own stunts, suffering aneck injurytoward the finish of August 2004 that caused production to be halted for a number of weeks.

“It had been early morning, there is some dew using one of the surfaces that people were focusing on, and I was just rehearsing and I slipped and landed on my neck,” she said. “This is a difficult physical film for me personally to accomplish. I have been sort of injuring myself in lighter ways so often onto it and I was so ready to proceed through that sort of pain, however when that happened it had been a bit more serious.”

Richard Foreman/Warner Brothers/Kobal/Shutterstock

North Country

In the 2005 film,inspired by the real story of Lois Jenson, Theron plays aminer who sues her company for sexual harassment after she and fellow female co-workers are put through constant(and all too common) abuse face to face.

Speaking with Roger Ebert at that time, Theronwasasked if she found it “strange” that her two most critically acclaimed roles to datedownplayed or outright covered her natural splendor.

“I discover that a weird question,” she replied, “as though I’m likely to think a whole lot about how exactly I look. I grew up in South Africa and didn’t mature in ways where much importance was positioned on might be found. I grew up on effort and discipline. When I’m employed in a movie, I’m almost fearless about how exactly I look. I don’t care, provided that I look right for the role.”

Getting ready to talk just like a Minnesota mineralong with co-star Frances McDormand, she continued, “We were concerned we were likely to sound too broad, and perhaps get laughs in the wrong manner. We tried to fine-tune it just a little, staying sort of neutral. Area of the transformation in virtually any character is really a new method of speaking. Also the physical look. Once more I caused Toni G, who did my makeup for Monster.”

On her behalf efforts, Theron received her second Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

Jasin Boland/Paramount/Mtv/Kobal/Shutterstock

In the Valley of Elah

Try as she might with darker hair and sensible work attire, Therondidn’t exactly look plainin the 2007 drama. But she was perfectly convincing nonetheless as a detective determined to resolve a grisly homicideinvolvingsoldiers froma nearby military base who had been recently serving in Iraq.

“I hung out with several female detectives in Albuquerque, New Mexico,” she told IndieLondon about finding your way through the part.”It had been great, since they advised me on scenes. I possibly could get yourself a feel because of their job, their looks, their attitude. Everything helps.”

Asked what drew her to the part, Theron said, “I wish to maintain films which ask questions and cope with social issues. I hardly ever really choose glamour rolesI like roles which will make you see the type and their life, instead of what they appear to be.”

That said, she added, “I was raised on Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies so when you look at these films the ladies had beautiful dresses and gorgeous makeup. The ladies were celebrated on screen a bit more than we do now. These were permitted to look beautiful but still have depth in their mind. But, today, way too many women seem scared of it. It is a shame, because I really like glamour.”


Snow White and the Huntsman

The wardrobe department did the heavy lifting turning Theron into evil Queen Ravenna in the 2012 fantasy, and throughout her press tour, she relished the joke that playing a diva bitch didn’t require much acting.

“I screamed so much at people, I tore a stomach muscle, that i had never heard about that before,” she said in a first-lookspecial on MTV.”And off-set, it is possible to joke about any of it, because you’re in these costumes. I felt like I had been so high-maintenance,” she added, fake-whining, ‘It hurts, oh gosh, I cannot walk to craft service.’ You feel a large pain in the ass. After all, I’m saying it had been the costume, but it surely wasn’t. That’s how I behaved.”

20th Century Fox


Theron said she viewed Tilda Swinton‘s Oscar-winning submitMichael Claytonas thecalculatingbut unraveling general counsel at an agricultural conglomeratefor inspirationas she ready to play Meredith Vickers, the mission director of the titular ship in the Ridley Scott-directed sci-fi drama.

“Ridley and I were discussing how once you see [Tilda], she doesn’t say anything initially of this film, the 1st time you see her,” Theron told IndieLondonin 2012. “The type of panic that’s instilled in her says so much without her ever needing to say anything.”

Hence the initial glimpse of Meredith doing push-ups when everybody else onboard gets sick, a scene where”physically I’m saying 10 times a lot more than I possibly could verbally.”

Village Roadshow/Kobal/Shutterstock

Mad Max: Fury Road

To play Imperator Furiosa, the one-armed savior of womankind in the post-apocalyptic thriller, that was nominated for 10 Oscars, Theron memorably shaved herown head. But first, she called director George Miller.

“I probably woke him up at 3 a.m., and I said, ‘What do you consider concerning this idea?’ And he was just really quiet,”sherecalled toEntertainment Weekly. “And I possibly could hear him breathe. It had been like he took a deep breath. And I took that as a confident.”

Theron continued, “I was 20 minutes early to everything in my own life. It had been unbelievable, like just how much time we devote to our hair. And also, I believe I emptied two garbage bags filled with hair products and brushes.There’s something very freeing for the reason that…And almost always there is something nice once you sort of take that need for your femininity and ensure it is about something a lot more than just your own hair…But it is also nice to possess hair.”

For the intensely physical role, including 15-hour days filming in the Namibian desert, Theron hearkened back again to herclassical ballet training to provide Furiosa’s movements a particular purposeful grace.

Asked about her penchant for transformations, Theron toldEntertainment Tonightat the film’s 2015 premiere, “Each time it’s different. Every movie is its animal and you also have to sort of respect it and address it that way. That one… naturally it had been an extended process, because the movie took such a long time to make, therefore i had lots of time to really have the story really inform me in regards to what I had a need to do and what had a need to happen.”


The Fate of the Furious

A little similar to playing Queen Ravenna, Theron surely got to”sit down in a chair and say mean things”because the villainous hacker Cipher in the eighth installment of theFast& Furious franchise.

She left the stunts to professionals this time around, saying onTodayin 2017, “I’m not likely to try and wreck havoc on something that’s working that well.”

For her try the film, director F. Gary Gray told Vulture, “The braids, that’s her idea. The Metallica T-shirt, that’s her idea. It creates her a bit more funky instead of this normal Silicon Valley hacker.”

J Prime/Focus Features/Kobal/Shutterstock

Atomic Blonde

Fatemight have been relatively low-exertion for Theron, but she was busy training four hours each day for just two . 5 monthsduring which she cracked two teethto play abadass MI6 agent in this 2017 action thriller, which she also produced.

“It just happened the initial month of training,” Theron told Varietyabout her dental mishap. “I had severe tooth pain, that i never had in my own lifetime.” She thought it had been a cavity, however when she visited the dentist, she was told she’d need surgery before going to Budapest to help make the movie.

“Needing to cut among the teeth out and root canals,”she recalled.”It had been tough. You intend to be in your very best fighting shape, and it’s really hard. I had the removal and I had to place a donor bone within to heal until I returned, and I had another surgery to place a metal screw within.”

She also twisted a knee rehearsing a more elaborate fight scene in a stairwell, suffered bruised ribs and came down with the flubut all in the name of earning it look as though she’d been kicking butt for a long time for crown and country.”I’m coordinated because I was a dancer, and I definitely have movement memory, but I’ve never been a fighter,” she told Variety. “I’m also really tall and a woman. That can make you appear to be you’re Big Bird.”

Focus Features/Moviestore/Shutterstock


After being in graphic-novel-heroine shape,Theron gained 50 pounds to play an exhausted mother of three who gladly lets atoo-good-to-be-true nanny dominate the hard parts in directorJason Reitman‘s 2018dramedy.

The real-life mother of twoadded the excess weight to her frame during the period of 90 days, eating an eating plan heavy on macaroni and cheese and In-N-Out burgersand subsequently got depressed. “These times, I must say i felt it in my own health,”TherontoldVariety.”The sugar put me in an enormous depression. I was sick. I couldn’t lose the weight. I called my doctor and I said, ‘I think I’m dying!’ And he’s like, ‘No, you’re 41. Relax.'”

It ultimately took her per year . 5 to reduce the weight.

“I understand plenty of moms who feel just like [crap] since it takes that long and everybody’s expecting them to be back,” Theron said, presumably utilizing a saltier word that the household newspaper wouldn’t print. “Me gaining weight for the movieit’s hard when somebody’s like, ‘Wow, that’s really brave!’ Moms do that at all times and we don’t call them brave. We’re like, ‘Why are you currently still carrying that baby weight?'”

Section of why she signed to star in and produce the film, she acknowledged, was to rebel against “this highly curated Instagram world of, ‘Which mom looks best in her bikini two hours after having a baby?’ I hate that that’s happenedeveryone’s life looks cute once you throw a filter onto it. So I’m taking this being an possibility to show another side.”

Hilary Bronwyn Gayle SMPSP


Along with watching hours of Megyn Kellyvideos to nail her voiceand mannerisms, and reading the Fox News host’s book Accept More to obtain inside her head,Theron wore more prostheticscrafted by makeup artistKazu Hirothan she did inMonster.

“The prosthetics on the eyes were tricky,” Theron told Entertainment Weekly. “We were all cracking up because only 1 eye would blink, also it appeared as if I had a glass eye.”

There have been also jawand chin pieces, and a nose tip, in addition to a nose plug. “The most obvious difference is that Megyn Kelly’s nostril is a lot larger than Charlize’s, in order that was the very first thing,” Hirotold Deadline. “To generate the nose plug, I took a cast of the within of her nose. From that, I made a 3D scan style of the within shape, changed the form using the pc, and printed out a nose plug, that includes a handle, in order that I could pull it in and out with tweezers.”

Hair designer Anne Morganlowered Theron’s hairline to create her face look more heart-shaped, and she wore a number of wigs and extensions to reflect Kelly’s changing hairstyles in true to life at that time the movie covers.

Theron caused voice coach Carla Meyer,telling the Mirror in April, “Megyn speaks really fast and in an exceedingly deep register. I had to take three weeks off because I busted my vocal cords.”

Theron, also a producer on the 2019 film concerning the downfall of Fox News president Roger Ailesamid accusations of sexual harassment, acknowledged toBackstagethatKelly(whom she never met) was “definitely probably the most well-known person I’ve ever played, and that scared me a bit.” She received her third Oscar nomination.

Aimee Spinks/Netflix/Kobal/Shutterstock

The Old Guard

Another action film, another fabulous character name for Theron. In this 2020 Netflix film, Andyshort for Andromache of Scythiais the first choice of an organization ofimmortal mercenaries with special healing powers who’ve beenshowing up where their services are essential because the Crusades.

So, it had been back to the fitness center to find yourself in fighting shape.

“The largest difference is merely style,” Therontold the LA Times.”I play a character that’s lived 6,000 years and she’s a fighting techinques expert, in every fighting techinques. It’s just humanly extremely hard to achieve that…It had to feel effortless. It had to feel just like watching Baryshnikov dance. That’s really, really tough to accomplish if you’re not just a fighting techinques fighter. That has been definitely the hardest thing. I believe that is the biggest feedback I kept getting: ‘Make it look easier.’ And I’m like, Well, this is simply not easy.'”

Among the first sequences they shot was a hand-to-hand combat scene featuring her and co-star Kiki Layne, appearing in mere her third substantial film role. “I needed us both to feel really confident entering this film,” Theron said.”I knew it had been her first-time [filming action scenes], but I really was nervous too. So that it was good that it had been something that us could really nail and leave from feeling super confident, which is what happened.”

Incidentally, Theron, who’d been afraid of horses since a major accident that occurred when she wasa teenager, had to obtain over that and ride because of this film. Once they wrapped, she planned to look at three horses and build her very own stables.

This story was originally published on Friday, August 7, 2020 at 3 a.m.

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