Monday, July 14, 2014

Actress Charlize Theron

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  • Charlize Theron was born on August 7, 1975 in Benoni, South Africa.

  • She’s an only child.

  • Though she’s (obviously) fluent in English, her first language is actually Afrikaans.

  • 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.

  • She grew up on a farm outside of Johannesburg.

  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • That teacher was also responsible for teaching her English. Until she started taking lessons, Charlize only spoke Afrikaans.

  • 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.

  • 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…

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  • There’s a funny story behind how she landed her first agent: When she first moved to L.A., she went to a bank on Hollywood Boulevard to cash a check her mother sent her to help out with her rent. The teller refused to cash it; but Charlize wasn’t having any of that and “went nuts” on the teller. Talent agent John Crosby happened to be in line behind her, and when he saw her go to town with the teller, he handed her his business card.

  • However, she eventually ended up firing Crosby; he kept sending scripts for movies similar to Species and Showgirls, which didn’t exactly float her metaphorical boat.

  • Charlize’s first role was a non-speaking part in Children of the Corn III, the 1995 direct-to-video installment of the Children of the Corn horror movie franchise. Hey, everyone’s gotta start somewhere!
  • Here’s a movie you may have forgotten Charlize was in: That Thing You Do! Remember Guy Patterson’s (Tom Everett Scott) ice queen girlfriend, Tina? That was her! That, by the way, was the event that made her think she could actually make a go at acting for a living: The moment Tom Hanks cast her. She remembered, “I used to watch Tom Hanks’ films over and over again when I was a kid, because I had such a big crush on him. I thought: ‘If he thinks I am worth hiring, then maybe I’m going to be okay.’

  • Her big break came in 1997, when she starred opposite Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate. She’s been working pretty much non-stop ever since.

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  • 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.’”
  •  As you may have noticed, she decided not to sulk and moved to Los Angeles instead, intending to break into the film industry.

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Actress Charlize Theron Gallery - more pics...

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Actress Charlize Theron Gallery - more pics...