Maybe we’re just starved for decent interviews with Charlize Theron, but this WSJ. Magazine interview is one of the best pieces I’ve ever read with Charlize. I don’t ever think of her as a celebrity given to interview confessionals, but in this WSJ. Mag piece, she’s sassy, funny, tearful and honest. Sort of. Like, I don’t think she’s being completely honest about Sean Penn, but I do think she’s trying to be tactful and not throw him under the bus, especially since they’re going to promote their movie together in just a few months. You can read the full WSJ. Magazine piece here. In includes details like… her son Jackson (whom she calls “Jax”) is still obsessed with Frozen (he wants to be Princess Anna), and Charlize still can’t say anything nice about Tom Hardy. Some highlights:
Demanding equal pay to Chris Hemsworth on The Huntsman: “Look, when I saw that Jennifer Lawrence made what she made in comparison to Bradley Cooper, I was definitely shocked… The way people have been writing about it, it sounds like the Sony hack was what motivated me. My feeling would have still been, If we’re going to do it again, shouldn’t we start on equal footing? Because, trust me, we weren’t on equal footing there.”
Clashing with Tom Hardy during Mad Max: “From what I hear, he’s not like that on every movie—I hear he’s had good experiences. Maybe the movie is what it is because we struggled so much with each other, and those characters had to struggle so much with each other. If we were chum-chum, maybe the movie would have been 10 times worse.”
Working in Africa again on The Last Face: “My son has spent more time in South Africa and Namibia than in America,” she says, a little unsettled by that fact.
Growing up in South Africa: “I have a lot of things I should probably sort out in therapy about my relationship with my country. Because it’s affected me way more than I’ve ever acknowledged. And it was only when I got older that I started realizing that I had a lot of anger; there was a lot of unresolved stuff—apartheid, health care, AIDS, poverty—that still very much affects me… It makes you realize that the circumstances of your formative years, it leaves a real scar—it marks you. It’s the one thing that gets me really angry, really emotional. It’s a lot of f—ing suffering, and unnecessary suffering. And just people getting the s— kicked out of them for a very, very long time,” Theron says, overcome by a rush of tears. She breathes deeply, trying to hold them back. “Yeah. Sorry.”
Wanting more children: “I always knew I wanted more kids… I don’t know. But I always knew I wanted more than one. Always. When you’re with somebody and it comes to kids, you can’t bulls—t. And so I was always very honest with Sean that I wanted to have more kids. And he was very supportive.”
Stories about Sean Penn adopting Jackson: “We were very, very new in a relationship. The stories saying that Sean was going to adopt Jackson and all of that were not true. It’s not something that happens in 18 months. You can’t do that to a child. So there was an understanding that I was a single mom with a very young boy who I had to put in a situation where he understood that Mommy dates but that he does not have a father, you know what I mean? You have to be very careful and very honest about that stuff. And Sean was great with all of that. And in my honesty about wanting to have more kids, there was an understanding that a relationship had to go somewhere before it was going to be—what you hope for, which ultimately did not happen. I couldn’t foresee that, but that stuff takes time, and I think it’s my responsibility as a mother to protect my child from that. And so we had a very clear understanding. He knew that I was thinking about filing for another adoption but that we weren’t filing together.” She laughs. “My publicist’s going to kill me; I’m already saying too much.”
She claims she didn’t ghost Penn: “There is this need to sensationalize things. When you leave a relationship there has to be some f—ing crazy story or some crazy drama. And the f—ing ghosting thing, like literally I still don’t even know what it is.” She shrugs and shakes her head. “It’s just its own beast. We were in a relationship and then it didn’t work anymore. And we both decided to separate. That’s it.”