When you think of Hollywood actresses who’ve been in the biz for decades, have successfully spanned genres, are well respected and just seem to keep getting better, the list of names that comes to mind probably isn’t that long. But Charlize Theron definitely makes the cut!
Do you remember what movie you first saw her in? I do. It was the kinda bonkers 1997 supernatural drama The Devil’s Advocate, which many consider to be her breakout film. In it, she plays Keanu Reeves wife, and has one of the most haunting and horrifying scenes I’ve ever seen. Just thinking about it still makes me shudder.
From that point forward, Theron worked nonstop for years, cranking out performances in every type of movie you can think of — from the adventurous Mighty Joe Young to the Oscar‐winning The Cider House Rules in the late ‘90s, to a hodge‐podge of nine mostly forgettable movies between 2000 and 2002, to another standout role in the heist thriller The Italian Job in 2003.
But that wasn’t the biggest thing to happen to Theron in 2003. Nope, that’s the year she truly became an A‐lister when she won an Oscar (and a Golden Globe and SAG Award) for her transformational role as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster.
I could go on and on about the wide variety of movies Charlize has been in since — in addition to her work as a producer, model, mother and social activist. Instead, I’ll highlight just a few of her films that have really stood out to me:
- Young Adult: – Charlize is just so nasty and almost unbearably awful in this film. She plays an alcoholic mess of a ghost writer who makes everyone around her miserable.
- Mad Max: Fury Road – Duh! FURIOSA IS AN ICON!
- Tully:– This dramedy hit me hard — so much so that I feel the need to warn new mothers (and probably even some not‐so‐new moms) that they might find themselves uncontrollably sobbing at the montages of Charlize’s character struggling through the early days with her newborn. This film also has a wowza of an ending that I absolutely loved, even though it’s brutal.
- Long Shot: – I was surprised by just how much I loved Theron’s latest film, in which she stars opposite Seth Rogen … not an obvious match. But as the Secretary of State who decides to run for President and hires Rogen’s character (who she used to babysit) as her speechwriter, Theron shines. She gets to show off both her dramatic chops and her comedic side, and it’s pure entertainment with a strong dose of kick‐butt feminism.
Theron shows no signs of slowing down any time soon, to the benefit of all us movie fans. The films she has coming up include voice work for the animated Addams Family movie, a doozy of a political drama based on real‐life events, Fast & Furious 9, and a sci‐fi comic book adaptation.
What’s your favorite Charlize Theron movie?