Charlize Theron covers the October issue of Harper’s Bazaar. It’s a great interview with the now 47-year-old actress and producer. Her 40s have been so fruitful professionally – she’s really hit her stride as a producer, and she’s making the kinds of movies she wants to make on her terms. She also has big Hollywood friends who send her scripts and come to her parties, because apparently she’s very good at partying. She’s currently promoting The School for Good and Evil (on Netflix) which is based on the children’s book series. She’s gotten to the point in her life where she wants to make stuff her kids can watch too. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:
She hates feeling powerless: “Having absolutely no control over what you’re wearing is a big one that really f–king annoyed me for years. Having some guy make you have a fitting almost in front of them—stuff like that, it’s really belittling. When I started, there was no conversation around it. It was like, ‘This is what you’re wearing.’ And I remember one movie in particular, this male director who just kept bringing me in, fitting after fitting after fitting after … And it was just so obvious that it was to do with my sexuality and how f–kable they could make me in the movie. And when I started out, that was just kind of the norm.”
Being a South African and raising her kids in America: “I didn’t grow up in America, so I always find myself kind of trying to keep my head above water with the school system and exams, because it’s not familiar to me. My education was just so different than what my kids are having in America. And so there are a lot of bells and whistles that come with being a parent that I didn’t grow up with.” Theron mentions a particular mom friend who will always text her and remind her if there’s a special dress-up day at school. “I’m so lucky that I have this amazing village of women taking me in under their wing. I know it’s not just a single-mom thing. We just look after each other.”
She wants her kids to be aware of the world: “Growing up in South Africa, being for many years at the epicenter of what was a global political issue and having all of that turmoil around me, I think made me very aware that everything was so interconnected… I want [my children] to always be curious—curious about how other people live, where other people live. Because I think the greatest gift I can give them as a parent is to open their eyes to outside of their bubble.”
The loud bitch: “The majority of my 20s and my 30s, and just the way I was raised, was very much … it was a time where you had to be a loud bitch to just find some space in the room. I don’t necessarily really like being that person but there was definitely a time in my life where that was the only way I knew how to function. I have learned that sometimes you have to know how effective you are as a messenger. Just climbing on a mountain and screaming into the abyss is maybe not the best way to change hearts and minds or to have people find empathy.”
She gets emotional about school shootings: “I can so gracefully talk about slowing down, don’t be reactive but there’s a part of me that I think if I was one of those parents, I would not be as gracious as a lot of them have been.”
She hasn’t been in a relationship in a while: “During Covid, somebody was interested in doing this thing with me. It was just a deep dive into a relationship. And I was just like, I don’t know if I wanna. … I just feel so out of practice.”
She wants to show her kids that she works: “I think that’s more important than fame or anything like that. I saw my mom work hard, and I remember just my whole life thinking, nothing is going to get handed. You have to work harder than anybody else in the room.”
Women – moms – don’t talk about that enough, I think, that they want to show their kids that mommy has a job, that everyone works and that you can be passionate about work and you can love your job and love your kids. Too many celebrity moms reinforce the idea that “going back to work” will somehow damage their children. I’ve also never really thought about the more minor culture shock Charlize must have as a South African, navigating American schools and American mom-culture. I bet August and Jackson go to fancy LA schools too, where parents are supposed to participate constantly and all of that. Ugh. Glad it’s not me!
Cover & IG courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar.