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The Diva's interview with

Charlize Theron
One of the Stars of
North Country (2005)


Copyright Kamal Larsuel , 2005

I'm glad you leave them there because I think it's incredible that you can lose your beauty and sacrifice that one role and I think there are a lot of beautiful people out there who maybe feel like monsters in disguise and who don't know how to deal with it.

Charlize Theron:
Yeah, I mean, you know, I think at the end of the day it has nothing to do with anything actors - some actors know that, those are the actors that I admire. I think Johnny Depp said, "If I keep serving roast beef you’re gonna get bored". You have to pay attention to the fact that you're a vehicle. Actors are vehicles to service the greater story and I think if you start thinking about everything in terms of you and make everything about you, then it's very selfish and so I don't ever question anything for Charlize but I question everything before the character and so that truth like you say sometimes is very ugly but it's the truth and therefore I feel like it's my responsibility.

Now, there was a lot of ugliness in Aileen and I didn't just look at that but I had to pay attention to that just as much. Yeah, I think people are very complicated and that's why I love this job because I am fascinated by human nature. I'm fascinated about what the outside appearance might be and what's really going on inside. I'm fascinated by, in this case, what happens to people when they are put in horrible circumstances and they have to survive and what they will do to survive and I say that for the men because it was really a survival for them as well just as much as it was for us. And we had to understand where they came from as well. We couldn't just say men bad, women good. We had to understand that that was their bread and butter as well. It was their livelihoods as well and if they didn't work there well then their families were going to suffer from it just as much doesn't justify good behavior but I can understand where the behavior comes from and also even the ones that didn't do anything horrible but couldn't say anything, the men who weren't bad, but stood by because they knew if they said something they'd get fired.

With the films that you have done, what has been the most grueling role you have taken? Is it doing something like "North Country" or doing something physical like "Aeon Flux"?

Charlize Theron:
They are all different and they are all hard, good hard in different ways. They are all a unique experience. This was and that's what I like about it and that's why I decided to do "Aeon Flux" and then this because they were so night and day from each other but they were equally hard for me. In many ways Aeon Flux never speaks. I read the script and I was like I barely speak in this movie and I realize what a great opportunity to tell the story with your body. To not use words. I was very fascinated by that. The issues that that film deals with were issues that I thought were very strong issues. Issues that I care about, about our everyday life so it didn't make it frivolous for me.

And also again the director Karyn Kusama comes from a world of character filmmaking and never did this genre and I think her films are very complex when it comes to human nature so I knew it wasn't just going to be frivolous and running around with my tooth hanging out and kicking things because I'm not good at that. I knew that she would find a core and then when the script came in the whole film questions our humanity which is again what I'm fascinated by. Then I go into this and it's a complete different question but the core is still the same and the process is a little different. The director is different and I like being that kind of putty for somebody's vision. I love that, and I like showing up and having somebody kind of mold something together that I might not have seen.

Was the ass kicking fun to do?

Charlize Theron:
Well, the physical aspect was great. I come from a ballet background. I did ballet for 12 years and I consider that my theater. I told stories with my body for 12 years and then came into this industry and I couldn't let go of that. It's still an aspect that's very important to me and there are things about this character and you don't notice these things, they are little things and that's great that you don't but there is heaviness about this character physically.

I really felt like she kind of - she became like a - you know, Aileen was here and Josey to me was here, kind of like a tort toy so it's like one knock after another started retrieving her head deeper and deeper into her shell and I think these - all of these people in this kind of environment with this weight on their shoulder because they don't deal with issues, its just not the environment where you kind of sit and wallow in self pity and talk about your problems, you sweep them under the rug and you go on because you have to survive and so it just gets heavier and heavier and heavier. But yet I was very disappointed about it. I also didn't want to just change my body. I really wanted to learn the skills of what somebody like Aeon had and wanted to learn gymnastics and wanted - didn't want to just be on wires, fake everything - I really wanted to learn some skills that I never thought I would learn in a million years.

I see that you will be on an episode on the comedy show, "Arrested Development". How did that come about?

Charlize Theron
: Well, I wasn't going to do anything for the rest of the year. I was going to take the year off producing a couple of things for my company. The great thing about that is it's a great creative outlook and it doesn't take me away from home. My boyfriend's working on the show (The Night Stalker) right now so it's nice to just kind of be home and take some time off and then they called and I'm a huge fan of the show. I'm very picky with my comedy and that's why I haven't done that much comedy. I'm very selective. I think the writing on the show is brilliant. It's my kind of humor. It really pushes the envelope. You know, I like that in comedy and so I don't have a lot of opportunities to do comedy and when this came I really wanted to grab it because, again it's so different. I wanted to go and stretch my wings in that environment a little bit and do something courageous and work on it a little bit so I'm having a great time on it.

Are you planning to appear in "The Night Stalker"?

Charlize Theron:

What's been the most surprising lesson you've learned about human nature in a role?

Charlize Theron:
That we are all capable of anything. You really believe that. You really, really do. It's impossible for me to work on a film like Monster or this and not know that given the certain circumstances we are capable of anything. It's very easy for us to sit here in our comfy environments and say I would never do that, I would never do that. But you never know until you're standing in those shoes. You know, our circumstances are so different from this character's. It's so easy for us to say I would be like Josey, I would fight, I would - for 14 years really, would you? Would you fight 14 years when everybody is ostracizing you and saying that you're a slut and a nut and crazy and you asked for all of this and your children are being beaten up at school because their mother is working - would you really do - I mean that's incredibly brave to sit here and easy to say yeah, I would do that but I think that's the biggest thing, a lot of people said that about Aileen, too, I would never do that. PAGE 1 - PAGE 3

Interview with Niki Caro

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