Categories Interviews Mad Max: Fury Road The Gray Man

Los Angeles Times Q&A with Charlize Theron

She’s an Amazon, a beautiful powerhouse whose sharpest weapon is her mind. And the character she played in “Mad Max: Fury Road” was no slouch either.

Charlize Theron’s fierce Imperator Furiosa was arguably the star of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” the latest entry in director George Miller’s franchise. Furiosa is that rarity in Hollywood: a female lead, terrifying and compassionate in turn, and every bit the male lead’s equal. Theron recently chatted with The Envelope about the role, the shoot and the repercussions. Sporting a cropped haircut, at one point she jokingly asked if she looked like Justin Bieber.

This from the woman who shaved her head for the role, unbidden?

It felt right for the character, and also felt logistically right for the long shoot. But it’s weird, sometimes you tap into something you can’t explain. Once I got George to commit, and he felt it was the right thing to do, then we were just fearless with it.

How long were you filming in southern Africa?

Seven or eight months, but we were also there three months for rehearsal. We went out there and the whole stunt department was set up already.

What was the shoot like?

We didn’t have a script, or scene numbers. We had storyboards. For 138-whatever days, we were shooting one giant scene. So much of this movie was in George’s head, so there was a lot of trusting we had to do. There was a lot of fear behind it. Now I look at the movie and think a lot of that actual fear came into play, and that’s really how we felt certain days. It’s like, “What’s going on?” It was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
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