Charlize Theron is, without a doubt, the actress with the most and best action titles in recent years, whether she has been running through the desert in « Mad Max: Fury Road », dismantling the bad guys in « Atomic Blonde » or brandishing an old one hatchet in « The Old Guard ».

The 44-year-old Oscar winner has filled her career with memorable action roles and I had the opportunity to chat with her about her evolution in the industry, since 2004 where we saw her in her first role in the genre with the movie Aeon. Flux.

« I grew up in a time when there weren’t many action movies where women are the main figure, or at least the one that moves the story, » she says.

As a young woman, she adds, she felt lonely. Being an only daughter I played these imaginary games in my backyard, and because of the little television we had in South Africa (where she was born), the programs we had were MacGyver and Knight Rider, all of them starring men, and the girls were relegated to the technical role or the reason for the rescue ”.

In his 20s

However, there was something that changed for her when she was in her 20s « and she saw Sigourney Weaver in » Aliens. « 

“Ripley’s character has always stayed with me in an incredibly profound way, not just as inspiration for action movies, but overall. There’s something about that character that has always been my guide when I’ve been in film development. Once I saw her be Ripley, it was as if the world opened up and felt limitless. « 

On the subject, he added: « When I came to the industry, I gradually threshed my way, the opportunity to do Aeon Flux presents itself, and unfortunately it was a box office failure and criticism. »

By then she was sure that her career within the genre was over. « I had a few supporting roles in action movies prior to this ( » The Italian Job, «  » Reindeer Games « ), but not the opportunity to star. »

The steps

Evolution, he indicates, has been slow since then and, until now, Gal Gadot, Angelina Jolie « and others have had certain successes within the action genre. »

The representation is changing, “and then we all get very excited when the change is seen and then we become complacent. We fall back into the same belief that these movies don’t work, that people aren’t interested, which is a lie; It is not really based on any current information. We are going to have to work much harder to create more opportunities. ”

“There’s a part of me that’s like, don’t be greedy. You have been part of many of them. But what I can do, to support growth is to produce my own films and also to produce those of others in order to create new talents and new stars like Kiki Layne (co-star in The Old Guard) ”.

The movie « The Old Guard » (available on Netflix) was directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and in addition to Charlize Theron and KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli and Chiwetel Ejiofor acted.

Charlize concludes by saying that it is about removing these pitfalls, “these ideas that women can only live and breathe in the action genre if they have been motivated by some great loss, or if their husband has died, or if their son has been kidnapped ».

The actress insists that “all these things about tropes are slowly disappearing, and you are seeing women living and breathing in these worlds in the same way that men have for centuries. We don’t have to explain anymore. « 

« It is something that we can change, without falling into that of overshadowing the work of men, but demonstrating that we can create franchises and be as profitable as those based on male characters, » she emphasizes when answering the question of this editor in the interview. From your home.

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In action.

Charlize Theron promotes the screening of the movie “The Old Guard” on Netflix, which marks her return to action cinema after “Atomic Blonde” (2017).

In action.

In 2003 she won the Oscar for best actress for her portrayal of the serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the movie « Monster. »