Charlize Theron hasn’t always been sitting on top of the world, and even her evil queen counterpart in The Huntsman might agree with Theron’s tempered outlook on life. Charlize was subjected to the violent and dark realities of life at a young age, when Theron’s mother was forced to shoot her father. Charlize’s father was drunk and abusive, so Theron’s mother was excused due to self-defense. Life is a far sight better now, after Charlize’s successes in both modeling and acting. Ms. Theron has also just adopted her second child, a daughter named Autumn, but she’s still wary of the changes life can bring.
“I don’t think that life is that happy in general,” Charlize confessed. “It’s always going to be a struggle and you have to hang on to those moments where the world seems wonderful rather than grim.”
Even the success and fame enjoyed by Ms. Theron hasn’t kept her safe from hard times, as the sudden and recent break-up with Sean Penn can attest, but Charlize still does her best to handle troubling situations with grace.
“I’ve always believed that having a sense of humour and not taking everything so seriously is the only way of dealing with some pretty harsh realities in life.”
Charlize’s first love and fondest dream was to become a dancer, but Ms. Theron injured her knee early on, ending any chance that she might pursue a dancing career with any degree of success. It was then, in 1994, that Ms. Theron’s mother bought her a one-way ticket to Los Angeles. Charlize visited every agent she came across as she strolled Hollywood Boulevard, but she met little success until a chance encounter brought her a change of luck.
Theron had gone to the bank to cash a check for $500, sent by her mother. When the teller informed Charlize that the bank could not cash out-of-state checks, Theron created a scene as she yelled at the teller.
As chance would have it, there was an agent in the bank at the time and, witnessing Charlize’s tirade, offered her his card and told her to call him after she had learned to better speak English. Ms. Theron is a long way from those days of struggling, but she hasn’t forgotten them.
“I know how lucky I’ve been and I’ll never forget those dark days living in a cheap apartment with hardly any money to eat and wondering what was going to happen to me,” Ms. Theron said. “So it’s still like living in a dream to me, being able to work and not have to worry about money.”
[Featured image: Charlize Theron courtesy of Jason Kempin/Getty Images]