Charlize Theron is getting candid about the perils of being a woman performer in Hollywood.
The actress spoke on the “Evolution of a Bada–s” panel during Comic-Con@Home on Friday and opened up about her experience working in action films — a genre dominated by men.
Theron, 44, drew from her experience performing on the 2003 remake of the heist film, “The Italian Job,” and what she recalled “unfair” treatment during the movie’s prep phase.
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“I realized there was still so much misconception around women in the genre,” the “Old Guard” star recalled at the virtual roundtable.
“The only good thing that came out of that experience was that there was a real pressure to pull off those stunts with the actors – and that was the first time I experienced anything like that,” Theron explained. “But 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 preproduction and they had scheduled me for six weeks more car training than any of the guys.”
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The Oscar winner said she took umbrage with the idea that she couldn’t learn as much as her male counterparts in the same amount of training time.
“It was just so insulting, but it was also the thing that put a real fire under my a– and I was like, ‘All right, you guys want to play this game? Let’s go,'” she continued. “I made it a point to out-drive 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.”
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The mother of two said her role in the 2015 George Miller movie “Mad Max: Fury Road” allowed her to finally hit her stride in the film business as a viable action heroine.
“It wasn’t until ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ came my way — that experience and what happened with that film really changed the trajectory for me,” she said of the post-apocalyptic desert runner, which garnered a nomination for best picture.
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“I don’t think I will ever recover from the making of that film,” Theron quipped of her now-iconic role of Furiosa.
“There is a responsibility to hand that baton over, that it’s not just about you,” she added. “Listen, it’s still disproportionate to our male counterparts out there, and we have to keep putting the pressure on our industry to change that.”
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“I want my two young girls to grow up and not even think that this is weird or this is unusual or this is strange,” Theron reflected. “I want this to be normalized.”