As legend has it, Charlize Theron was discovered by an agent while fighting with a bank manager on Hollywood Boulevard. Eighteen and starving, Theron purportedly got into the argument after the manager refused to cash her check. The outburst caught the agent's attention, and eight months later Theron got her first acting job. She subsequently went on to become one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood, thanks to a fortuitous combination of talent and the blonde, statuesque good looks so fervently adored by the camera. Theron was raised on a farm in Benoni, South Africa. Trained as a ballet dancer, she was sent to Milan at 16 to become a model following the death of her father (which, it was later revealed, occurred after he was shot by Theron's mother, who was defending herself from his drunken abuse). After tiring of modeling, Theron returned to her first love, dancing, which resulted in a move to New York to dance with the Joffrey Ballet. Unfortunately, her career was halted by a knee injury, which led Theron -- at her mother's behest -- to travel to Los Angeles to try her luck with acting. After a long, unprofitable struggle, fate smiled upon Theron in the form of the aforementioned bank encounter.
Following an inauspicious bit part in 1994's Children of the Corn III, Theron won her first dose of recognition with 2 Days in the Valley (1996). The film wasn't particularly successful, but it did give her both much-needed exposure and critical praise. The film also served as the stepping stone to her first leading role, that of Keanu Reeves' embattled wife in The Devil's Advocate (1997). The film drew poor reviews, but Theron managed to win widespread praise for her performance. Her next project, Trial and Error (1997), surfaced briefly before disappearing with nary a trace, but the subsequent Mighty Joe Young (1998) netted Theron more positive notices. Her ascent was confirmed with her casting in Celebrity, Woody Allen's 1998 cameo-fest that also featured turns from everyone from Kenneth Branagh to Winona Ryder to Leonardo DiCaprio to Isaac Mizrahi. In her portrayal of a perpetually aroused supermodel, Theron shone in a role seemingly designed to allow her to flaunt her natural attributes and little else. She was rewarded with more substantial -- not to mention multilayered -- work in The Cider House Rules (1999), Lasse Hallström's Oscar-winning adaptation of John Irving's novel. As a troubled young woman with secrets to hide, Theron received star billing alongside Michael Caine and Tobey Maguire.
In the wake of The Cider House Rules came a few highly publicized but ultimately disappointing projects, including John Frankenheimer's Reindeer Games (2000), Robert Redford's The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000), and Sweet November (2001), the last of which reunited her with erstwhile co-star Keanu Reeves. Theron was also reunited with Woody Allen in his The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001), another widely anticipated film that, despite a high-profile cast and stylish period design, was both a critical and commercial underacheiver.
None of this, however, nudged Theron from her A-list status, something that was confirmed by her casting in the flashy, star-studded 2003 remake of The Italian Job, a much-beloved 1969 comedy caper starring Michael Caine. The 2003 version featured Mark Wahlberg in the starring role, with Theron, Edward Norton, Seth Green, and Mos Def, among others, backing him up. That same year, Theron switched gears and dove headfirst into the "serious actress" category with her starring role in Monster, the crime drama based upon the real-life story of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute who, in the late '80s, murdered seven men in Florida. Co-starring Christina Ricci as Wuornos' lover, the film promised to show audiences a side of Theron that certainly hadn't been hinted at in her previous portrayals of models, girlfriends, and Southern debutantes. It was evidently successful as Theron was showered with more than a dozen awards including an Oscar following her first-ever Academy Award nomination.
Theron was born on August 7, 1975, in Benoni, South Africa.
Charlize Theron: Super-sexy Aeon Flux
So here is Charlize Theron, born and bred in South Africa, standing on a set that looks like some sort of space-age Japanese steakhouse, being interviewed by a gaggle of Americans. And we're in Berlin, Germany.
The scene's dizzying multinationalism is ironic when you consider that the character Theron is playing — super-sexy assassin Aeon Flux — exists in a futuristic, one-nation world where free thought is forbidden and the very idea of diversity is more than frowned upon, it's punishable by death.
Her role is a challenging one, full of martial-arts beatdowns and high-impact gymnastics, and Theron has paid the price. In August, while rehearsing a series of somersaults, she injured her neck and had to be rushed to a hospital. Production was shut down for a month, and there were serious doubts that she would be able to continue the film. Though she recovered, she still requires almost daily upkeep.
"Right now, I'm going to get a B12 shot," she laughs as she's being led away by a set physician. "It'll be fun."
In "Aeon Flux," Theron must overthrow a dictator (the tyrannical Trevor Goodchild, played by "Lord of the Rings" vet Marton Csokas), avenge the death of her sister, and basically liberate mankind, all while wearing outfits that would make your local dominatrix blush. And to say that Theron embodies Aeon's sinewy sexiness would be an understatement: She's impossibly tall and slender, effortlessly poured into a black Lycra catsuit, and her trademark blonde locks have been dyed raven black. Behind the scenes, her body language is cool and relaxed, but when the cameras roll, the movements become precise, catlike and lethal. Aeon is every fanboy's dream: a super-hot chick with a penchant for violence. But Theron is quick to note that what drew her to the part wasn't just the idea of kicking ass and playing dress-up.
"Even though it's a very physically demanding part, it doesn't lack in the acting department. If it did, I wouldn't be here," she says. "Aeon is pretty self-destructive, and sometimes thinks of herself as quite indestructible, and I can get into that. I like that. I couldn't see myself going through eight months of this if I wasn't satisfied creatively, because I'm not interested in playing a robot."
It's interesting to note that when "Aeon Flux" first debuted, back in 1991 on MTV's late-night 'toon anthology "Liquid Television," she was about as robotic as can be. Animator Peter Chung created a character that never spoke (the entire show was dialogue-free), dispatched foes with an utter lack of emotion and died at the end of every episode. Things like plot and character development were an afterthought. And it wasn't until 1995, when Flux was spun off into her own half-hour show, that these things became important.
"The work has been challenging, but good," Theron says. "It's really interesting to take something that's based on [a show] quite known for not having a linear story, and to try and put it into a linear story. But sometimes I do find myself going, 'OK, what are we doing?' "
The challenge of developing the film fell to the unlikely team of director Karyn Kusama and screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. Kusama had racked up indie cred from the one previous film she'd directed, 2000's "Girl Fight," while Hay and Manfredi racked up, um, something with the 2001 Kirstin Dunst teensploitation flick "Crazy/Beautiful."
At face value, all three hardly seemed suited to helm a Hollywood action film. But looking closer, Kusama's girl-power manifesto ("Girl Fight" launched the career of Michelle Rodriguez, who played the no-nonsense titular pugilist) is a perfect fit for "Flux," and Hay and Manfredi are grade-A sci-fi geeks.
"We spend a whole lot of time on sci-fi sites, and we hope that the movie will satisfy people who visit them too," Hay says. "We're both really huge fans of the original show, so we did our best to adapt it. But we realize that while some people will love it, there's always going to be a subset of people who will hate it."
"Aeon Flux is such an interesting and flawed and ambiguous heroine, in that she sort of behaves irrationally at times, behaves from a place of instinct," Kusama adds. "I thought there was something in the film that was particularly fresh and had the opportunity to be very beautiful. And I think that's something that's been missing from sci-fi as of late. Everything's become a grey, dark apocalypse, and we have to opportunity to tell a story that's sort of brighter on the outside and somewhat darker on the inside."
The story they tell is impressively ambitious for a big-explosion, big-budget action flick. It's full of plot twists and exposition, and raises questions about the finality of death and technology's role in everyday life. The attention to detail evident in the sets built on the Berlin soundstage — the delicate fauna and brightly colored vials in Goodchild's lab, Aeon's postmodern and vaguely sadomasochistic apartment — calls to mind the intricacies of Chung's original animated series. And the script is peppered with nods to the cartoon, like the moment when Flux catches a fly in her eyelashes. It's a good example of what action films can — and should — be: smart, sexy and suspenseful.
"I think there's an assumption that action movies that appeal to 15-year-olds have to be dumb. I simply disagree with that," Kusama says. "I think there's a way to make engaging, dynamic movies where everyone in the audience feels that they've been taken care of. It will be a really interesting experiment to make a movie that has a fairly muscular sense of pacing, a fairly thoughtful sense of storytelling and action that feels really satisfying to everybody. And I do believe the time has come for a film like that."
Theron obviously agrees. After all, the role of Aeon Flux is one of the first she's undertaken since winning an Oscar for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wournous in "Monster" — and an injured neck and daily vitamin shots attest to her dedication to the project. But even on a day like today, when Kusama shoots more than a dozen takes of a simple shot — Flux walking up to a secret portal, peering inside, then walking out of frame — Theron is smiling, joking with crew members. For a badass killing machine with the fate of the human race in her hands, she seems, well, remarkably happy.
"At the end of the day, I have no idea if this is going to be a success, so at least I know that no matter what happens, I made my decisions based on something that was really satisfying to me," she says. "Because that's really the best case you can go with. I want to make movies that I want to go and see. And I really believe that's what we're doing here."
Theron to wed this year?
Charlize Theron is to disappoint her legion of male admirers by marrying her long-term boyfriend Stuart Townsend later this year.
Reports in America suggest that the Oscar winner and Townsend, who recently finished filming Head In The Clouds together, will marry in the actor's hometown of Dublin.
Perhaps somebody should remind them that a certain Ben and Jen tried that couple acting together thing and it wasn't good.
Charlize Theron on "Head in the Clouds"
Writer/director John Duigan brings a richly textured romantic drama to life in "Head in the Clouds," the story of two lovers who must choose between passion and conviction, between love and social awareness. Offscreen couple Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend join Penelope Cruz onscreen in this sweeping romance.
Talking about Theron and her acting gifts, director Duigan enthuses, "Charlize is a virtuoso. She is an actress who has both great application and stamina, as well as great instincts. She could sustain the most difficult emotion take after take, and be at once strong, strident and maddening. Gilda’s approach to life is to be vivid and spontaneous, but she has this nagging feeling that her freedom is illusory, and Charlize captures that brilliantly."
In this interview, the Academy Award-winning actress discusses working with boyfriend Stuart Townsend, playing bisexual characters, and her admiration for "Head in the Clouds" co-star, Penelope Cruz.
INTERVIEW WITH CHARLIZE THERON ('Gilda'):
Is it easier to create a relationship onscreen when you’re involved with your co-star?
The thing that I thought…It’s tricky to explain, but the reason why I thought Stuart and I could actually bring something with our relationship to this material was because it’s not just a relationship about love. It’s really about the opposite, this deconstructing. I mean, she’s the manipulator and in many ways, she’s the one that basically breaks that down every single time. But I found myself constantly being an eye line for him and having to get him to a place where [he was able] to have his heart be completely ripped out of his chest. Being his girlfriend, I had that power and I had to kind of abuse it a little bit in this movie (laughing). So, in that way, it was really great. If this was a film just about the greatness of love, I think it would’ve been a lot harder. But it was so the opposite that I thought that that was a positive thing for us.
Why would it have been harder if it was about the greatness of love?
Well, because I think that there is a comfort level that you have in a relationship that I think is sometimes hard for people to get around. When they watch a movie and they know that you’re in a relationship, you just kind of watch that constantly. There’s a fear of it becoming the people that you know as celebrities on screen. But I think that it distracts from that when it’s something more than just that, which I think this film is. At the end, the realization is that she had to get to a place in her life where she could drop her guard and make peace with the fact that whether she had a small amount of time, that she had to kind of live it completely through, instead of living by the rules.
How do you feel about the handling of bisexuality in films, having played two in a row?
The thing that’s interesting about both those characters, and I think is quite the norm and people might not agree with me, but I think that in general, it’s really just about the search for love. And those two characters in particular. I think Gilda and Aileen have that in common where, for different reasons, I mean, Aileen was an outcast and was just willing to accept love from anybody. So her preference was not whether it was a man or a woman. It was just a human being that would accept her the way she was and not judge her for the things that she did. With Gilda, it was somewhat similar only the difference is that with Gilda, she knew she had a very short life and wanted to experience everything, all the different kinds of love that you can experience in one lifetime. She wanted to manipulate, to experience in a very short period of time. And I guess that’s the great lesson that she learns at the end of this film, that you cannot manipulate life that way. Some things you can’t make happen. And especially not when you live it the way she does which is, “I can only go this far, because I can’t go beyond that because I know I don’t want to hurt myself and I don’t want to hurt somebody else.” But a little bit more selfishly, she doesn’t want to hurt herself. So the physical aspect becomes kind of her quick fix.
The friendship that she has with Mia is that of finding a woman in her life that can represent a great friend, somebody that she can teach, which I thought was very important to her. And then, at the same time, also be open to the idea of actually having that go further to a more physical level. But with both relationships, she can’t have any of that. Whether it’s by being bisexual or being heterosexual, she can’t have any of it because she’s exploring so many different things, wanting to experience so many different things, that she never really focuses on what her heart says. And kind of just letting that play out in her life.Do you feel pressure over committing to gay character roles?
I never have even spent any time thinking about it. To me, that’s so just the kernel of what they’re going through. It’s never a question of… I mean, to me, it’s so much more than that. Both Aileen and Gilda, I don't think they ever even spent time thinking about that. It’s such a secondary note to their life that I don’t even think about them in those terms. I think of them as people who were just desperate for love. So I don’t think of it. I don’t even think about the idea that I’ve played two characters that are bisexual.
How much discussion was there about the character and how much she’d change over the course of the film?
A lot. John [Duigan] has spent so much time on this project in writing it and doing his research. I mean, he really understands that period very well, and very well from a European perspective, which is very different from an American perspective. I’ve done period films through the same time frame that came from a very different place. That kind of big bang that happened, especially in Paris, with artists and he really dived into them and really provided me with some great materials to really, truly understand what that was like. And I think it was really important for me to understand that because she was never really truly a great artist, even though she was somewhat loosely based on a Lee Miller or somebody like that. She somehow just found herself in the center of what really was happening in Paris at the time, which was really a common thing back then. And how it changes is really important because I think that’s the social commentary of this movie. What that war did to those people, people who kind of went through their lives as artists, was huge. And I think in many ways that’s kind of where her perspective comes from, was being around those kind of people. That’s I think why she views what is happening to her social structure the way she does.
It’s so reflective of now. When was the script written and did it change to reflect current events?
John should answer this, but I think he wrote it like four years before we started shooting. But when we went into our first week of production, the whole Afghanistan of it all was happening. And towards the end of shooting it, the Iraq of it all was happening. So [it was] very, very strange to wake up in the morning and read the newspaper, and then read your sides, then have Gilda say things like, “There will always be war.” It’s very, very strange.
How important is it for people to have a social and political conscience?
I think it’s very, and I think that’s what she discovers towards the end. I think if she went through her entire life not socially conscious, she would have just ended up doing what you think she’s doing, which is just getting by the best way she knows how to. But she becomes socially aware and I think for her it’s different than for Guy and Mia. They are socially aware. Mia because of a personal experience, and Guy because he’s just a very socially aware character who knows that he needs to go out there and be a part of it. But for her, I think it’s because of learning what it’s like to love people and then to learn in order to love them that they’ll have to be socially aware, as well, in order to have them both coincide with each other. It was also the only way that she knew how to be a part of it all, which was very much in her character I think. She doesn’t like the idea of not being a part of it, and to me that was her redemption. That was the only way that you could take a character like that and have her live that way, which sometimes is very selfish, and have her be redeemed - somehow redeem herself through an action like that.
How do the relationships between the three characters reflect today’s times?
I think that there was a freedom, not that it was accepted, but somewhat more accepted because of just the artistic front that was happening in the 30s. And even though people never talked about it, it was definitely lived. I think today that has definitely changed because people are talking about it. But I think that anything like that, anything on the human basis that those three people go through, I think is timeless. I think in 100 years from now, no matter where we are, if we’re still around, we’ll still be struggling with the same things.
You think we’ll still be struggling with gay rights and other issues?
I do. I think that any love, the meaning of life, what we’re here for, I think it’s just in our individual nature to always question these things. I don't think we’re ever going to be a society that’s just going to be okay with everything. There’s no pleasing everybody.
How was working with Penelope Cruz?
Amazing. If she called me tomorrow, I would do anything with her. In my next life, I want to come back as her, as a Latino girl, because I think they have way more fun than any of us. She’s incredible. She’s an incredible actor and it was so important for that [to work]. Sometimes - most of the time - you only have to deal with the fact that there’s one love interest. And in this, it was so important to have the three of us have great chemistry with each other.
There are a lot of days where you have to just kind of be open. There’s a scene, and it’s one of my favorite scenes in the movie, where she has to do this dance for us, which is just one of the hardest things to do as an actor. Not only are you putting on a show for the people watching the movie, but you’re putting a show on for the people in the movie. And I just had such admiration for how she dealt with that and how well she pulled that off, and how much fun she had with everything.
How much time did you and Stuart work on this movie separately?
Not that much. We kind of dived into it together. Rehearsals, we were always together. I mean, John always made himself available for us one-on-one if we wanted to. But I love hearing other actors talk about their characters and playing off that. It’s not an isolated experience for me as an actor. I find it much easier if I can sit at a table with actors and just talk about it.
Would you come to set when it was just a Stuart day?
Oh no. I take my off days. I was shopping.
How much location shooting was there, versus set shooting?
We shot for about…maybe seven weeks in Montreal and then Stuart and the rest of the gang shot for about two weeks in London. And then we were in Paris for, I think, three weeks doing exteriors in both those places. We did some exteriors in Montreal as well. Paris was amazing. Unfortunately, we shot a scene at Sacré-Cœur on our last night [and] it didn’t make the film, which was really sad. But that was just incredible to just have that entire church closed down. It was two in the morning and just kind of watching the view and shooting the scene. It was pretty spectacular, and then having your wrap party right there was really nice, very special.
Did any movies or characters influence your development on this?
I watched a lot of movies like “Little Foxes,” just great Bette Davis [films]. She was such a strong, vivacious, in your face, conflicted character. And there was a way about her speech and the way she walked into a room that I really liked, so I watched a lot of her movies.
What’s going on with producing?
I’m producing a film next year called “The Ice At the Bottom of the World” with Kimberly Peirce directing. Bob Berney and all those guys from Newmarket [are] financing it and distributing it.
What’s it about?
It’s a family drama. It’s about a man who comes home after 30 years of being in the Navy and having to kind of readjust with his family after being away for so long.
Are you and Stuart looking for more projects to do together?
No. This came very organically. It wasn’t planned. It was something that he was going to go and do and the way of the world turned out that the actress didn’t do it. There was a shot for me to do it. I think if something like that was to happen again where material kind of fell into our laps that way and we felt, like I said earlier, where we feel that the fact that we are in a relationship can actually add something to the material instead of just, “Come and watch Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend on screen,” then I’m totally open for it. I love working with him. Putting aside that I’m biased and he’s my boyfriend, I think he’s a phenomenal actor, and I’m always up for working with good actors.
Charlize Theron enjoyed filming love scenes with Stuart Townsend
Charlize Theron has revealed that she enjoyed her love scenes with real-life boyfriend Stuart Townsend in forthcoming film 'Head In The Clouds' because she didn't have to hold her stomach in.
The 'Monster' star said that she was cool and relaxed about the love scenes opposite her Irish actor lover in the movie, as she did not have to bother about the way she looked without clothes.
"Stuart has obviously seen me naked, so I didn't have to suck in my tummy," femalefirst quoted Charlize as saying.
The stunning actress, however, also revealed about the discomfort of shooting love scenes with her beloved in front of dozens of people.
"It's hard to do these scenes with someone you love as there are 20 people watching, and then there's the audience. I still don't know how my mum is going to handle it," she added.
Theron, Harrelson get used to winter in Minnesota
Woody Harrelson is taking ice skating lessons and Charlize Theron is doing her best to stay warm as filming begins in a movie about sexual harassment in an Iron Range mine.
"It's really beautiful but I am from Africa, which is a very hot continent," Theron said of Minnesota. She said in the three days she's been here, she experienced frozen hair-care products and slippery snow.
"It was fresh snow, and it was really beautiful. And I loved seeing it from the inside of a house," she said.
In the film, Theron plays a female miner who pursues a precedent-setting sexual harassment case. The story is loosely based on a class-action lawsuit that women filed against Eveleth Mines in the 1980s. Harrelson is her hockey-playing lawyer.
Harrelson said he's trying to become convincing on hockey skates. He's taking lessons from the Virginia high school hockey coach.
"Currently, I suck," Harrelson said.
The film, which is still untitled, will be a dramatic portrayal of human struggle, said New Zealand-born director Niki Caro, who also directed the critically acclaimed "Whale Rider."
Both Caro and Theron said the film will capture the warmth of the region's people and the rugged beauty of its mines and lakes.
Theron praised Minnesotans for spending hundreds of hours on the film, including reading the script so actors could record their voices and absorb the local dialect.
Frances McDormand, who won an Academy Award for best actress for the 1996 film "Fargo", is also in the film.
Theron determined to stick around
Charlize Theron vows to remain a powerful presence in Hollywood - and prove wrong critics who her deem her 2004 Oscar win a one-off.
The South African-beauty intends to reap the benefits of her Best Actress Academy Award - after wowing critics playing serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster - and is determined to continue scoring acclaim in a wide ra nge of roles.
Theron, 30, explains: "Since the Oscar, everybody has been waiting to see what would happen, would I fall on my face?
"Forget it. I've worked hard to get here and I'm not going to disappear - I'll just reappear in different guises.
"The work I had been doing before the Oscar hadn't always been what I wanted. Hollywood drives you to make big blockbusters and you can get typecast."
Charlize Theron Is Smart
Charlize Theron can read.
Of course, we know how smart she is. But it's nice to know that the Oscar-winning actress doesn't sit around flipping through Vogue or US Weekly when she has downtime.
Recent tabloid stalker photos of Charlize and boyfriend Stuart Townsend were agog because they were both "topless." Headlines!
But what the caption writers missed was that Charlize was clutching her copy of a great and much acclaimed book.
It was Rian Malan's "My Traitor's Heart: A South African Exile Returns to Face His Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience," published by Grove Press.
Theron and Malan are both South African Afrikaners, which is no doubt the root of the movie star's literary interests.
Like Theron, Malan — at least in the book — is also something of an expatriate who travels the world, but leaves his heart in Cape Town.
So forget Charlize's largely exposed derriere — which was caught by a telephoto lens, and not like she was putting it out there on purpose — and be happy that she's feeding her brain and not her swag bag.
You kind of imagine that she's also reading Alan Paton, Nadine Gordimer, J. M. Coetzee, etc.
Anyone who's lapping a book that begins with the sentence: "I'm burned out and starving to death, so I'm just going to lay this all upon you and trust that you're a visionary reader," has more going on upstairs than your average thespian.
Charlize Theron national press club's newsmaker 2005
The National Press Club in Pretoria has awarded Charlize Theron its Newsmaker of the Year title for 2004. Theron is the first African to win a Best Actress Oscar Award. The Benoni beauty received the Oscar for her lead role in Monster.
Ben Rootman, the Press club chairperson, said the Olympics swimming relay team and the 2010 Soccer World Cub bid were also strong contenders for the title.
"However, the media impact of Theron's award was tremendous. Apart from appearing on the front page of Time Magazine -- a rare achievement for a film star -- she was seen and quoted extensively on both electronic and print media internationally, and her media profile during her visit to South Africa, after receiving the award, was tremendous.
"Apart from umpteen appearances on local television and radio shows and in the printed press, Beeld and Pretoria News, for example, published special editions to mark her Oscar Award."
Rootman added that besides the Oscar, she was the first South African to win a Golden Globe Award and in the words of President Mbeki was "proof that South Africa as a nation can produce the best in the world".
The club planned to present the award to her at a ceremony in South Africa.
Previous recipients include former presidents Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk, Zackie Achmat and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), the South African Air Force, the national rugby team and former cricket captain, the late Hansie Cronje.
Charlize Theron: "Aeon Flux"
When one thinks of Charlize Theron, one pictures that blond South African-born goddess who shined when she won the Oscar earlier this year. So it's a surprise to see her in Germany on the set of her new sci-fi thriller "Aeon Flux" looking quite different altogether. Standing tall with a short midnight black hair style and piercing eyes, Theron is built like a anky catwalk model in person and even though the hairstyle isn't becoming, she's got a professional but relaxed demeanour about her which makes our very short time spent interviewing her an enjoyable experience.
If starring as a scantily clad female assassin in practically every scene of the film wasn't hard enough, Theron made headlines when production was shut down for several weeks due to an injury she sustained during stuntwork on the film. Today she talks about that accident, why she chose this as her post-Oscar project and what we can expect:
This seems like an odd choice for you after winning the Oscar?
I think odd is good. I don't think actors, I mean, speaking for myself, I don't want to go and just keep doing the same thing, you know? I think that challenge is always good. I knew nothing really about the genre. And just in that, that was enough of a challenge for me to work with a filmmaker that I really wanted to work with and I thought was a really interesting choice for this genre. Those were all elements that were really important to me. So, you know, it's odd, but that's good, I think.
What was it that drew you to this script, this story?
The elements that really attracted me is the fact that at end of the day, it's bottom line a love story. It's a human story, and the struggles and the things that this so-called futuristic story takes place in had all the elements of human struggle that I'm really interested in. I'm not interested in playing a robot. These are real people struggling with things that I think a lot of people can relate to.
You're going to be the next big action heroine.
That's going to be me! Watch out, Arnie! But I think that even though this is very physically demanding it's definitely not lacking in the acting department. If it was I wouldn't be here. I couldn't see myself going through four months, five months, now almost eight months, of this if I didn't have the creative satisfaction that I do need as an actor.
For the human aspect of her, she is a killing machine but she also falls in love. Talk about how you balance that.
As an actor I think it gives you a nice range. You get to go from one place and build quite a nice arc, and to have that already embedded in the character makes it easier for me. She is pretty self-destructive and I think sometimes thinks of herself as indestructible, so I can kind of get into that. I like that.
It must have been tough when you injured yourself.
It was an accident. These things happen. I think you can talk to anybody who works on an action film - when you do these things you don't expect, but it could happen. Nothing bad came from it, I'm healed up completely, and I think in the long run we used it to our advantage to come back even more prepared and ready to make sure there were no kinks anywhere. It was a little frustrating. There's nothing worse than being in the middle of a film and having to take six weeks off. But for me you can't take it off, because your mind is still completely connected to it. That was a little hard, but in a way very good because I could utilize that time because for three months before starting this film I focused on the physical aspect. I really spent that six weeks thinking about where that woman is going. I used it to my advantage.
Besides the physical stuff, what's the most challenging aspect of the role?
It's all pretty challenging. Physically challenging. Sometimes, although I have to give Karyn a lot of credit because she tries to stay away from green screen, but that stuff is always challenging. The weather's been very challenging, in my "layered outfit." The work has been challenging but good. It's interesting to take something that's loosely based on something that's quite familiar and I think quite known for not really having a linear story and trying to put it in a linear story.
How important is it that the role must challenge you?
It's very time consuming. I have ADD, so for me to go and really dedicate myself to something for a period of time it's very important for me to like it, to like the people I'm working with and really leave every night and - because at the end of the day I have no idea if this is going to be a success. At least I know whatever happens with this I made my decisions based on something really satisfying to me. I think that's the best guage you can go with - if it's satisfying to me, I think it'll be satisfying to you. I like to make movies I would want to go see, so I hope that's what we're doing.