Charlize Theron is a superstar model, dancer, fighter, and actress from South Africa. She has been in several box-office hits, including Monster, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Atomic Blonde. Here are 42 kickass facts about the intimidating beauty.
Charlize Theron Facts
1. In The Beginning
Charlize Theron was born in Benoni, South Africa on August 7th, 1975. Her parents, Charles and Gerda, both owned a road construction company together, and the family lived on a farm. Theron grew up feeding livestock and taking care of animals.
Theron grew up learning Afrikaans, which is a Dutch dialect, before she became fluent in English.
3. Say Cheese!
When she was a baby, Theron had jaundice, and the doctors put her on antibiotics. Her baby teeth rotted because of the medicine, so she did not have a normal set of teeth until she was 11 years old and her adult teeth grew in.
When she was a little girl, every time she looked at a world map, Theron saw that South Africa was “at the bottom of the world.” It made her feel as though she was missing out on seeing so many great places. From a young age, she knew she wanted to travel.
5. Early Passions
Theron began taking ballet lessons when she was six years old. She quickly grew to love it, and by the time she turned 12, she went to a special boarding school in Johannesburg in order to study dance on a daily basis.
6. The Classics
Growing up, the movie stars who influenced Charlize were Marilyn Monroe and Bette Davis.
7. Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover
Despite the happy image of a family running a business and living on a farm, Theron’s father Charles was an alcoholic. He was a very abusive person who made the lives of Gerda and Charlize very difficult.
8. A Partner, Not A Wife
During an interview, Theron said that she is interested in being in a long-term relationship, but she does not think that actually getting married is important for her.
9. Making Bank
In 2017, Theron was the seventh-highest paid actress in the world; she made $14 million that year alone. Theron typically makes $10 million or more for each movie she stars in.
10. Project Runway
When she turned 16, Theron won a modeling contest, which gave her the chance to fly to Italy and enter another competition. She started working in New York City as a fashion model until she turned 18.
11. Letting a Dream Die
At 18 years old, Theron decided she was going to go after her lifelong dream of being a ballerina, and she started studying dance at the Joffrey Ballet School. However, she injured her knee so badly that she was not able to go pro.
12. All of the Lights
Once Charlize knew that she could no longer be a dancer, she flew to Los Angeles to try her luck as an actress. However, her South African accent was a problem, and she wasn’t good at hiding it during auditions. She started practicing her American accent to land jobs.
13. More Than a Pretty Face
Charlize didn’t particularly enjoy modeling, and she never tried to use her good looks to get an advantage. In fact, she hated being judged for her body. She knew she had a great figure, but she would purposely show up to her first acting auditions wearing baggy t-shirts and jeans, hoping that her acting skill would speak for itself. As she began getting more and more acting jobs, she began to embrace and love her body.
14. Getting Discovered
When Theron was 19, she was at a bank in Los Angeles, trying to get money out of a South African account. She was having trouble accessing her money, so she got into an argument with the bank teller. This caused a scene and forced a man named John Crosby to notice her. He was a manager, and approached Theron after to ask if she needed an agent. Meeting Crosby helped Theron get her first role in Children of the Corn III.
15. Come What May
Theron almost got the part of Satine in Moulin Rogue, but it went, famously, to Nicole Kidman instead.
16. Black Widow
Theron was in several starring roles in movies for a few years, but the film that really made her internationally famous was 2003’s Monster, where she played the part of a serial killer Aileen Wuornos. She won an Academy Award as well as a Golden Globe for her performance.
17. A Huge Honor
After she won the Oscar, Theron was invited back home to South Africa by Nelson Mandela. He threw her a huge party, gave her a hug, and thanked her for bringing attention to their country. She started crying.
Theron was so devoted to the part of Aileen Wuornos that she gained over 30 pounds in order to look more like her. The producers of the movie got access to letters and diaries written by Wuornos, which Theron also studied in order to better understand her character.
The prop gun that Charlize Theron used in the movie Monster was sold at a pawn shop for $4,500.
20. Getting it Right
When Monster came out in theaters, Theron heard that Wuornos hated the adaptation of her life story. This upset Theron so much that she called Wuornos up in jail to make sure she was okay. It meant everything to Theron to be sure that she portrayed someone’s life story accurately.
In 2005, Theron starred in the action movie Aeon Flux, which required a lot of stunts. She injured her neck while on set, and the filming had to be postponed for several weeks while she healed.
22. Making the World a Better Place
Theron does a lot of charity work, including promoting The Global Fund, which helps fight AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. In 2008, she was awarded the title of “Messenger of Peace” by the United Nations.
Theron was in a long-term relationship with an actor Stuart Townsend. They were together for almost 10 years before they broke up.
24. New Love
After breaking up with Townsend, Theron started dating Sean Penn. They were together for about 2 years before parting ways.
25. Motherly Instinct
Theron decided to adopt two children; Jackson and August. She adopted her son while she was still with Sean Penn, and she adopted her daughter soon after they broke up. She is quoted saying, “You know, I don’t think any mother aims to be a single mom. I didn’t wish for that, but it happened.”
Theron admits to having OCD. She says that if things are not neat and tidy, she begins to uncontrollably clean.
27. You’re Getting Sleepy…
Theron used to smoke, but she went under hypnosis to quit, and it worked.
28. Pearly Whites
As if she didn’t have enough issues with her teeth as a kid, Theron cracked two teeth while filming Atomic Blonde.
29. All That Glitters
In 2005, Theron received her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and her name is now immortalized in stone.
30. Hello, Gorgeous
In magazines around the world, Theron has been voted “Sexiest Woman Alive,” “Most Desirable,” and the list goes on. Even Victoria’s Secret put her on the “What is Sexy” list as “Sexiest Actress” in 2012.
Theron has posed naked for both the cover of Playboy Magazine and a few additional pictures inside.
32. Yas, Queen!
One of Theron’s more interesting accolades was the Harvard University Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year Award. The award is given by the Harvard Theater Department to a man or woman who is considered to have given a significant contribution to the world of entertainment. Students and faculty dressed in drag and paraded her around the campus as if she were royalty. During her acceptance speech, Theron mentioned that she is a high school dropout, and she never expected to have any kind of link to Harvard in her lifetime.
She is the model and face of “J’Adore Dior” perfume, which earns her $2 million per year.
Theron owns a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and she has said that she enjoys putting on a pair of jeans and “acting like a guy” when she goes riding.
35. Story is Everything
Theron is quoted as saying that she isn’t necessarily against what she calls “glamour roles,” where the film is looking for a beautiful woman, but she always goes for a really great story over something that is meant to make her look pretty.
When Theron starred in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, it was the first (and so far, only) time she participated in a movie sequel.
37. All Around the World
During The Huntsman: Winter’s War, all four of the lead actors were from 4 different continents: Theron is from Africa, Chris Hemsworth is from Australia, Emily Blunt is from Europe, and Jessica Chastain is from North America.
38. Friends, Not Food
Growing up on a farm, Theron grew up with animals. She advocates for animal rights, and even posed for a PETA campaign. The ad was anti-fur, and she poses next to her dog.
Theron loves watching the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC). She was introduced to it by a friend, and she found herself getting “obsessed.” She said that she woke up the next morning having lost her voice, because she was screaming so much during the fight the night before.
40. One Tough Cookie
Theron did almost all of her own stunts in Atomic Blonde. She trained with eight different personal trainers in order to prepare. She also decided to hang around with Keanu Reeves, because he was training for John Wick: Chapter 2, and she wanted to see if there were any pointers she could learn from him.
One day when Charlize was 15 years old, her father started violently attacking her and her mother, Gerda. Gerda, who felt Charles was going to kill them both, shot and killed Charles in self defense in front of Charlize.
42. White Lies
After her mother killed her father, Theron told her friends that her dad died in a car accident. She didn’t want people to know how truly bad her family situation had been.