25 Things About Charlize Theron
Think you know ‘Young Adult’ star Charlize Theron? Think again!
You know who’s awesome? Charlize Theron. She’s been around for a while, but somehow, she’s managed to keep from getting overexposed while still working steadily. This upcoming year is going to be a big one for her, too, what with Snow and the Huntsman and Prometheus both on tap. Before those high-profile, big-budget epics make their debuts, though, she’s got something perhaps even more interesting coming out.
Though she’s mostly been known as a dramatic actress, appearing in such acclaimed films as The Devil’s Advocate, North Country, and of course Monster (for which she won an Oscar), this December, Charlize is trying out something different: comedy. The vehicle? Young Adult, in which Charlize plays an author of teen literature who returns to her hometown to relive her glory days—though, naturally, it doesn’t go quite as she’d planned. Directed by Up in the Air’s Jason Reitman and with a screenplay by Diablo Cody of Juno fame, it’s sure to be hilarious and touching, all at the same time. Young Adult saw a limited release last Friday, but it’s set to open nationwide tomorrow, December 16. In honor of the occasion, here are 25 things you may not know about this superb actress.
1. Charlize Theron was born on August 7, 1975 in Benoni, South Africa.
2. She’s an only child.
3. Though she’s (obviously) fluent in English, her first language is actually Afrikaans.
4. Her name isn’t pronounced “There-on.” The correct pronunciation in South Africa is “Thrown.” She changed it when she moved to the US, partially because she was told that it sounded more American and partially because “There-on” is how everyone here pronounced it anyway.
5. She grew up on a farm outside of Johannesburg.
6. She’s got something of a dark past: Her mother shot and killed her father in 1991 after her father, who suffered from alcoholism, attacked her mother while drunk. The shooting was ruled to be in self-defense, so Charlize’s mother faced no charges.
Charlize in the upcoming ‘Young Adult,’ complete with tiny dog.
7. Not unlike many actresses, Charlize originally set out to be a ballet dancer. She began taking lessons at the age of four from a teacher who previously taught at the Royal Academy of Ballet in London.
8. That teacher was also responsible for teaching her English. Until she started taking lessons, Charlize only spoke Afrikaans.
9. At 16, Charlize took a brief detour into modeling (and no wonder—she’s stunning!). She travelled to Milan, Italy on a one-year modeling contract after winning a contest at home, but she’s said that modeling was only ever a way for her to pay for what she loved to do: dance.
10. After her year was up, she headed to New York to model for a couple of days, but decided to stay in the city once the modeling gig was up. While there, she trained at the Joffrey Ballet School…
11. …But you probably saw this coming: An injury she suffered at 19 shut down her ballet career for good. About the experience, she said, “I went to New York for three days to model, and then I spent a winter in New York in a friend’s windowless basement apartment. I was broke, I was taking class at the Joffrey Ballet, and my knees gave out. I realized I couldn’t dance anymore, and I went into a major depression. My mom came over from South Africa and said, ‘Either you figure out what to do next or you come home, because you can sulk in South Africa.’”
12. As you may have noticed, she decided not to sulk and moved to Los Angeles instead, intending to break into the film industry.
More about Charlize, including how she got her first agent and who she’s reminding critics of in Young Adult, up next!