Audiences couldn’t get enough of Furiosa in “Mad Max: Fury Road”, and apparently neither can Charlize Theron.
In an interview with Variety, Theron says she would gladly step into the role of Furiosa once more for a prequel to the Oscar-winning 2015 post-apocalyptic action film.
“There were three scripts. They were written as backstories to Max’s character and to Furiosa’s character. But at the end of the day, this thing lives and breathes with [director] George [Miller]. I think Warner Bros. knows that. We are all waiting for him to show us the way.”
Theron, who’s starring in the upcoming “Atomic Blonde”, says that the film got made in part because of the success of “Mad Max: Fury Road”.
But Theron’s now-iconic character Furiosa went through a few iterations before arriving at her final look. “Originally, [George] liked this idea that even though they were in the desert, something happened and people actually turned albino,” Theron says. “They became these white ghosts. I had this white hair, kind of like Abbey Lee [Kershaw’s] character. It was very much like that: blonde, bleached, very pale skin, no eyebrows. We played around with African war paint. It would have been a completely different film.”
The idea for Furiosa’s shaved head came about after Theron’s gruelling duties on “Snow White and the Huntsman”. “I had just finished a big press tour. I’d come home — I was just so done with hair and makeup. The idea of going into a desert for 140 days, and having to do hair and makeup every single day. I was so excited about diving into this character,” she says. “I didn’t want anything to hold me back from that. I think it came from that — just pure exhaustion from hair and makeup. How do I eliminate everything I possibly can and get straight to the business at hand?”
Meanwhile, Theron’s other big action film franchise, “The Fast and the Furious”, is also up in the air. “I don’t know,” she says. “I have no idea if they’ll have me back. Look, I love everybody at Universal. We’re going to have conversations. We’ll see where it goes.”
In the new Variety cover story, Theron also talks about her new film “Atomic Blonde”, in which Theron plays bisexual super agent Lorraine, which was a real thrill for the actress, “for so many reasons: My frustration of how that community is represented in cinema, or lack thereof. And also, it made perfect sense. It just suited her. It just felt there was a way through that relationship and the fact that it was a same-sex relationship to show a woman not having to fall in love, which is one of those female tropes. ‘It’s a woman; she better fall in love — otherwise, she’s a whore!'”
Plus, Theron says the sex scenes in the film are really hot. “James Bond doesn’t have such hot you-know-what,” she says. “I loved that we didn’t hide under the sheets.”
And it’s not just LGBTQ representation Theron is after, pointing to the success of “Wonder Woman” as something that needs to be more normal in Hollywood.
“We’ve had moments like this, where women really showcase themselves and kind of break glass ceilings,” Theron says. “And then we don’t sustain it. Or there’s one movie that doesn’t do well, and all of a sudden, no one wants to make a female-driven film.”
“And look,” Theron adds, “I am ashamed that I’m part of an industry that has never allowed a woman to work with a budget higher than what the budget has been on ‘Wonder Woman.’ That’s so f***ing caveman-like. I am always hoping that this is the movie that’s going to change it and keep it for us.”
But being an action star isn’t easy. While training for “Atomic Blonde, Theron managed to twist her knee, bruise her ribs, and had to go through dental surgery after clenching her jaw so hard she cracked to teeth.
“It happened the first month of training. I had severe tooth pain, which I never had in my entire life.” Though she thought it was just a cavity at first, Theron’s dentist told her she’d need to have an operation before filming began. “Having to cut one of the teeth out and root canals,” Theron says.
“It was tough. You want to be in your best fighting shape, and it’s hard. I had the removal and I had to put a donor bone in there to heal until I came back, and then I had another surgery to put a metal screw in there.”