Charlize Theron is a powerful actress, who has made a name for herself across all genres of cinema. She has been nominated for the Academy Award thrice and won once for her role in the movie, Monster. She is also among the top action heroines in Hollywood and is highly dedicated to every role she plays. She has left a mark in major franchises like Mad Max and Fast and Furious.
But her journey started with The Devil’s Advocate and though the movie launched her to stardom, it wasn’t one she really enjoyed doing. The horror flick was about an attorney who moves to New York City when hired by a big law firm, only to realize he’s actually working for the Devil. Theron played the wife of the advocate, Kevin Lomax played by Keanu Reeves. The director of the film, Taylor Hackford had a fascination for method acting and asked the actors to follow the technique. It made shooting hard for Theron.
Charlize Theron struggled with method acting in The Devil’s Advocate
Charlize Theron has made a name for herself with her excellent acting skills and the way she molds herself to become the character she plays. But she struggles with the infamous technique of method acting. She once tried her hand at the same in the film with Keanu Reeves, The Devil’s Advocate, following the instructions of the director, in an attempt to emulate legendary stars like Marlon Brando and Monty Clift. But even though those who practice this acting technique make it seem easy, it really is not and Theron stands by that.
While in a conversation on the SmartLess Podcast, the actress recalled her struggle with trying method acting in The Devil’s Advocate. She shared with the hosts,
“I realized on that film that that was definitely not a process that was gonna work for me. There was something so exhausting about it. My life was miserable. I wasn’t happy. And then of course you worry because then you’re like, ‘well, if I don’t do that, then maybe I won’t be as good as the Marlon Brando’s and Monty Clift’s’ and you read all these biographies… And then I did some work, non-method, and I was actually really happy with the work.”
Though not being able to work with method acting made the actress nervous and she started doubting herself. It made her feel that she might never be able to be as good as the legendary actors and make a name for herself. But she soon realized that the “non-method” way is her way to go. She further explained,
“I think for me, having the energy to be able to go a lot further in darker material is way more helpful than being exhausted. When I’m exhausted, I’m just tired. I almost don’t want to go in the dark room. So I made it a real discipline. I think dance really helped me with this. I work, I leave it behind.”
Charlize Theron was able to find her acting style and it has worked out greatly for her. But she has definitely experimented with extreme body transformation for her role in the movie, Monster that bagged her an Oscar.
Charlize Theron’s extreme body transformation for Monster
Despite her struggles with method acting, Theron did not shy away from going through an extreme body transformation when it was required for a role. In the 2003 film, Monster, she played the role of a serial killer, Aileen Wuornos. The Marvel star, known for her amazing physique, flipped her diet to gain around 30 pounds for the role.
She shared in an interview,
“I think I’ve tried most of my career to transform myself into characters. This was just more extreme. I had about three months to gain weight. We never discussed it like, ‘I’m gonna put on 30 pounds,’ because I wasn’t trying to look fat. It wasn’t that hard. I just didn’t say ‘no’ to Krispy Kreme doughnuts or anything that was full of cream. I also gave up exercising.”
The actress’s dedication did pay off as she won the highest acclaim any actress can get, for the role. Though, it was a small production, her captivating performance managed to pull in the audience as a magnet and the movie made $64.2 million over a budget of just $1.5 million.