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Things We Saw Today: Charlize Theron Continues to Be a Badass

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You’d be hard pressed to find a more exciting action hero than Charlize Theron. Thanks to iconic turns in Mad Max: Fury Road, Atomic Blonde, and The Old Guard, Theron has made a career out of portraying bold, ass-kicking heroines. The Academy Award-winning actor sat down for a Comic-Con@Home panel aptly titled “Charlize Theron: Evolution of a Badass – An Action Hero Career Retrospective.”

Moderated by IGN’s Terri Schwartz, the panel offered an in-depth Q+A with Theron, who talked candidly about the importance of women in action movies. “30 years ago, there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for women to do action movies, and the first time that showed itself to me was after I won my Academy Award in 2004,” Theron said. Immediately after her Oscar win, she starred in Æon Flux, which was critically and commercially panned.

“It was hard that there were so many preconceived ideas, and there were so many boxes everyone wanted to squeeze you into, and it was a character that today I think would be celebrated cinematically way more than it was… ‘Mad Max’ really changed the trajectory for me and it made me realize, there is a lot of possibility here, you just have to find the right people who are willing to take the risk and want to explore those stories with women.”

Theron added, “We’ve change the genre for women, I think, … There is great evidence where we now know we can’t hide behind ignorance anymore. Audiences love these films, they love how we’re now telling these narratives of women at the core. There is just a facelift there, it feels fresh to explore the world of action with women fighting, and all of that stuff really excites me.”

Theron also touched on her own inspirations, citing Sigourney Weaver’s performance in the Alien films, She said, “The first time I saw Sigourney Weaver play Ripley, it just changed everything for me. It was like the world opened up and the possibilities were endless. If [Furiosa] can, in a small part, do what Ripley did for me as an actress, as a woman, that’s something I’m incredibly proud of.”

The interview is well worth watching in its entirety, and if you haven’t yet, hurry up and watch The Old Guard on Netflix.

(image: VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.