Charlize Theron Recalls 'Belittling' Behavior by Male Director, Talks Relationship with Fame

"I've never been one of those people that's at a Kim Kardashian level. But I feel like it's just always been this thing."

Charlize Theron is getting real about being a woman in Hollywood.

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar for its October 2022 cover story, the Oscar winner explained how actresses can often have no say in their wardrobe when it comes to roles. This is something Theron experienced for herself when she was first coming up in Hollywood, describing it as “belittling.”

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“Having absolutely no control over what you’re wearing is a big one that really f—ing annoyed me for years. Having some guy make you have a fitting almost in front of them — stuff like that, it’s really belittling,” Theron, 47, said. “When I started, there was no conversation around it. It was like, ‘This is what you’re wearing.'”

She continued, “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—able they could make me in the movie. And when I started out, that was just kind of the norm.”

The actress — who founded her production company, Denver & Delilah, back in 2003 — went on to discuss her determination to make a change in Hollywood, particularly when it comes to its systemic issues.

“There’s a natural fight in me to want to create environments that feel like the things that I wish I had 30 years ago when I started,” said Theron, whose film “The Old Guard,” which she both produced and starred in, featured a cast and crew that was 85 percent women. “I don’t always get it right, but I am very aware of looking at the big picture and saying, ‘Is this really the best we can do?'”

The “Max Mad: Fury Road” star — who is mom to two adoptive daughters: Jackson, 10, and August, 7, — also spoke about motherhood, and reflected on how having kids has changed her,

“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,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “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.”

Meanwhile, also during the interview, Theron opened up about her relationship with fame.

When asked if her doing more projects in which she’s behind the camera can be interpreted as her wanting to move her focus away from the spotlight, she said, “Working more isn’t, I think, going to change my level of fame. It just has always been a mediocre ride. I’ve never been one of those people that’s at a Kim Kardashian level. But I feel like it’s just always been this thing.”

Theron even said she doesn’t get projects greenlit on her name alone, but she appears to be okay with that.

“I will say, back in the day, it used to be like, you want to have some of this fame so you can go make the s— that you really want to make,” she explained. “But now it’s like, I pitch shit all day long and people are like, ‘No, thanks.’ I’m like, ‘I guess that’s not cash in the bank anymore.’ And that’s nice.”

She added, “It’s nice that you’re making things on the merit of how good they are versus this idea of, like, ‘Oh, you’re this thing, and we want to be in business with that thing.'”

Check out Theron’s full profile, here.

The October 2022 issue of Harper’s Bazaar hits newsstands on October 4.


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