Charlize Theron Says Her Role Selection Is Driven by Fear

From playing Aileen Wuornos in Monster to starring as Megyn Kelly in Bombshell, Charlize Theron has taken on a number of roles throughout her career.

But how does she pick which parts to pass on and which ones to pursue? The 44-year-old actress shared her answer during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Friday.

“There’s something pure that happens when you read material that you know nothing about and something just clicks for you,” she told the magazine. “It’s not necessarily a switch that says, ‘Yes, I should do this.’ It’s usually a switch that says, ‘What the f–k? This is scary. I don’t know about this,’ and you can’t stop thinking about it. The fear is really what drives it. I love that feeling. Most of my jobs have come to me that way. Now that I have kids, that other element of the logistics gets thrown in. Where is it shooting? What does that look like for my family?”

Theron had a particularly scary moment after her first studio, Annapurna, backed out of Bombshell.  

“I panicked. That’s the first thing I did. It was a very ambitious movie for Denver and Delilah,” she said, citing her own production company, which also worked on the film. “We only sent the script out to our top choices, and that was who ended up making the movie with us, which is such a freaking luxury to have, but what that does is that when you get people with the level of Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie, you’re tied to a lot of people’s schedules. When our financing fell through, our greatest fear, it wasn’t that we wouldn’t get financing again—it was that if we pushed just one week, the whole movie would have fallen apart because of scheduling.” 

However, she ended up teaming up with Bron Studios to make the Lionsgate film.

Theron also once admitted she was “s–t scared” to play Kelly, especially because the news anchor is “incredibly well known.” But by the looks of the trailer, it seems like Theron pulled the portrayal off. Many fans have had to do a double-take after getting a sneak peek of Theron’s transformation.

“We worked with the greatest [special effects makeup artist], Kazu Hiro,” Theron told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s really hard to get him to do new stuff. But I did a lot of begging and he came on and designed eight [prosthetic] pieces for me. Two of them basically covered my entire eyelids. It was very intricate work. Intricate work where you still need to be able to do what you need to do, like blink.”

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The movie is about the women at Fox News during Roger Ailes‘ tenure and downfall. In addition to Theron playing Kelly, Kidman plays Gretchen Carlson and Robbie plays Kayla Pospisil.

The film hits theaters this December.

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