For the first time, Charlize Theron is appearing in a romantic comedy. She talks about going into politics and her love of storytelling.
Ms. Theron, You’re well known for the film Monster and for playing an action hero in Atomic Blonde, but Long Shot, your latest movie, is your first real romantic comedy, right?
I never thought I’d make a film like Long Shot. Everything I had ever been offered in this genre just never felt right – bizarre comedies like Young Adult and Gringo are much more my thing. But when Seth Rogen came knocking, I couldn’t say no.
In Long Shot you play a politician, a woman who wants to be president of the United States. Might we be seeing this happening in the real world soon?
A woman as president? We’re a bit late with that in the U.S. The rest of the world has already seen many female heads of state, which makes the situation here all the more depressing, of course. I hope we will catch up soon.
Can you imagine running for office yourself?
Certainly not! I’m very much in favor of women taking on responsibilities and bringing about change, but feel no inclination to be one of them. Nor do I have the talent for it, probably, either.
But when it comes to your foundation, the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, you are quite politically active .
Sure, there is some political overlap there. I want to help and want my work to be effective. But combating AIDS among young people in Africa is very different from running a country.
Speaking of visions: When you look at the state of our environment and our climate, are you afraid of the future?
I wouldn’t say that I’m afraid. I’m naturally concerned about the future of our planet, but I’m an optimistic person. We cannot afford to just lean back and let things happen, we have to take a stand. Its quite normal for my seven-year-old son, for example, to separate the trash and know all about what to recycle.
You’re seen as someone who does an excellent job of managing both a family and a career.
Seriously, I do things just as well or as badly as any other mother. What makes things more difficult perhaps is that I have to do so much traveling for my job, although many other mothers have to travel as well. I find it very encouraging that I’m obviously not the only person who has succeeded in finding a good balance.
You don’t give the impression that anything could faze you .
You couldn’t be more mistaken! Even after over 20 years, I’m still scared stiff that I could get fired. It’s not a bad feeling, actually; it’s comforting to know that there are still challenges ahead in my career. The feeling of being able to do everything in my sleep and being on automatic pilot is something I want to avoid.
You formed your production company Denver & Delilah Productions early in the millennium. What are you like as a boss?
It’s important to me that everyone who works for me likes what they’re doing. Most of my people have been with me for almost 20 years. Hierarchies aren’t so important if everyone loves their job. I don’t care if a person works from the office, from home or from the other end of the world as long as they are dedicated and morale is good. In this regard, I’ve been very lucky with my staff.
Is it easier to work behind the camera than in front of it?
I’m not a producer out of necessity, but because it’s something I’m interested in. Nine out of ten roles that I play are in films that I developed myself. I really enjoy working closely with exciting directors and writers, developing stories with them from the very beginning. It’s much more satisfying than being sent a finished script. Will producing become more and more important to me the older I get? I have no idea. All I know right now is that I enjoy telling stories – in front of the camera, behind the camera and best of all, in a combination of both!