Since her feature film debut in 1995, Charlize Theron has demonstrated time and again her broad range in every role she takes. From the icy MI6 agent in Atomic Blonde to the grizzled war captain in Mad Max: Fury Road, Theron has always sought out roles that show off her versatility and vulnerability.
Charlize Theron was born in Benoni, South Africa, where she grew up on her family’s farm. From a young age, she took dance lessons and at age 16, won a modeling agency contest which took her to Milan to pursue a modeling career. After traveling all over Europe as a model, Theron attended the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. When she suffered an injury that ended her dancing career, she moved to Los Angeles to become an actress. Theron was first discovered by a talent manager at a bank who saw her colorful argument with a teller who refused to cash her check. Her first role was a non-speaking part in Children of the Corn III and she later had a featured role in Tom Hanks’s directorial debut That Thing You Do! After a series of smaller roles, the actress found her breakout role in The Devil’s Advocate, where she starred alongside Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino.
In the 2003 film Monster, Theron fairly disappeared into real-life prostitute, rape victim and convicted murderer Aileen Wuornos. It was a startling transformation for the statuesque beauty for which she received her first Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama as well as an Academy Award. Famed film critic Robert Ebert called her portrayal of the former prostitute-turned-serial killer “one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema” and named it best film of that year.
This year, Theron is nominated at the Golden Globes for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for her role as Marlo in the Jason Reitman-directed film, Tully. Theron plays an exhausted mother of three who, against her initial will, hires a night nanny to alleviate the daily stress of being a mom. Tully is Theron’s second collaboration with writer Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman, having previously worked together on the 2011 film, Young Adult.
Theron was drawn to Cody’s script because of its honesty and familiarity, being a mother of two herself. The film explores the unspoken hardships of being a mother and reinforces the fact that all parents need help. “I don’t think you can be a great mother without taking those breaks and having people in your life knowing you need those breaks, cause nobody can do it all the time, or do it well all the time,” Theron said.
As she received the news of her nomination, the actress said, “I honestly didn't expect this and am completely thrilled. Thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press for this incredible nomination.
I loved playing Marlo, so this is a real honor.”