Charlize Theron knows how to play a superhero.
In a Q&A on Friday during Comic-Con @ Home, the actress and producer reflected on nearly two decades of portraying female action heroes.
“Unfortunately, 30 years ago, there just wasn’t a lot of opportunity for women to do movies like this and the first time that that opportunity showed itself was after I won my Academy Award in 2004,” Theron said. “It was really hard making that film ‘Ã†on Flux.'”
She added: “The good news now is that we’ve kind of changed the genre for women. I think there’s great evidence where we now know you can’t hide behind ignorance anymore. Audiences love these films.”
Moderated by IGN’s Terri Schwartz, Theron opened up about her roles in “Ã†on Flux”, “The Old Guard” as Andromache, “Mad Max: Fury Road” as Furiosa, and “Atomic Blonde” as Lorraine Broughton. She also went on to talk about constantly pushing her limits while completing fight training.
“Those first couple of weeks when you walk into the gym, you’re really trying to assess, you’re trying to see what you can excel in and what you shouldn’t even be wasting any time on,” she said.
When filming “The Italian Job,” though, Theron recalled how she had to prove to filmmakers that she could keep up with her male counterparts.
“I realized there was still so much misconception around women and the genre. Even though in that film the action is really based on on cars, we had to physically do a lot of that stuff. There was a real pressure to pull off those stunts with the actors … there was a very unfair process that went with that. I was the only woman with a bunch of guys and I remember vividly getting the schedule in our pre-production, and they had scheduled me for six weeks more hard training than any of the guys. It was just so insulting.”
This, however, motivated her to be the best she could be.
“I was like, ‘All right, you guys want to play this game, let’s go,'” Theron said. “I made it a point to outdrive all of those guys. I vividly remember Mark Wahlberg, halfway through one of our training sessions, pulling over and throwing up because he was so nauseous from doing 360s.”
This year’s Comic-Con was forced to go virtual due to the spread of COVID-19. With over 350 panels, the online event will run until July 25.
You can catch Theron’s discussion up top and you can also see her in action in the recently released “The Old Guard” now on Netlfix.