Charlize Theron was born on the 7th of August, 1975, and grew up on a farm outside of Benoni, a town some 25 kilometres east of Johannesburg. She was named after her father, Charles. Charles was of French descent, while her mother Gerda hailed from German stock – both parents, though, were Afrikaans, born and raised in South Africa. Afrikaans would be Charlize’s first language, English her second, and she’d pick up smatterings from the 26 ethnic groups that provided workers for the farm and the road construction business run by Gerda. It’s testament to Theron’s abilities that she would find worldwide success by mastering a third language – American.
It was a great place to grow up. On the farm she was surrounded by animals, both stray and domesticated. There’d be dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, sheep, goats, even ostriches and Theron would learn an earthy sympathy for them that would, in later years, see her work long and hard for animal charities. When Gerda was away visiting construction sites, Charlize would stay with her nanny and her two kids in a hut. Gerda would make her up a bed on the floor but, as soon as she left, the nanny would put the child in her own bed. This wasn’t for reasons of comfort, rather due to the Bantu belief in the tokoloshe, a thoroughly unpleasant creature that might crawl into her head via her ear while she slept, and make her evil. Such stories couldn’t help but feed her young imagination.
Theron would begin ballet lessons at the age of 6, and always be a keen entertainer, ever encouraged by her mother. Indeed, Gerda would even halt business meetings and force her associates to watch her daughter dance and lip-synch to the pop music of the day (Cyndi Lauper would be a big favourite – she even dyed her hair pink). As she grew older, she’d remain very adventurous – like her mum who’d only discovered she was pregnant with Charlize after a skydiving accident (in fact, for years Charlize would ape her mother, from the way she drove to the way she smoked). Having run naked around the farm till she was 7, now she developed a love of track-running and, later, motorbikes. One great joy was the evenings spent with her mother at the drive-in, an early impression being made by Splash! She later recalled being wholly taken by Tom Hanks and feeling jealous of Daryl Hannah.
At 12, Charlize was sent to a boarding school in Johannesburg, specialising in the arts. Here’d she’d step up her dance training, now studying classical ballet as well as flamenco, Greek and contemporary dance. It was a hopeful existence, but back on the farm things were becoming increasingly difficult. Charles had slid into alcoholism and had long tortured Gerda with his distant manner and serial infidelities. Indeed, Charlize had come to feel like her mother’s protector. Then, in 1991, when Charlize was back from school for the weekend and upstairs in her room, the situation reached a head. Charles attacked Gerda once more and she shot him dead (for years Charlize would tell interviewers he was killed in a car crash). It was a straight-up case of self-defence, Gerda would serve no time at all. Their nightmare was over.
Keen to move on, and to keep her beloved daughter from brooding, within two months Gerda was encouraging Charlize to enter a Johannesburg modelling contest. She won it and was soon flying off to Positano, Italy, near the island of Capri, to represent her country at the International New Model Today competition. Again she won, and now her life changed completely as the modelling work came flooding in. She quit boarding school and, with Gerda returning to the farm and the road construction firm after three months, she lived on her own in Milan, travelling to jobs all over Europe.
This would last for a year. Then Charlize, keen to prove she was more than just a pretty face, moved to New York to study at the Joffrey Ballet School, financing herself by modelling in her spare time. After just 8 months, though, her prima ballerina dreams turned to dust when her knee “blew out” in class, forcing her into premature retirement. For a few months she moved down to Miami, modelling and letting the benign weather lift her spirits. Of course, as a born entertainer, she remained unfulfilled so, once more pushed by Gerda, she took off for Los Angeles and, maybe, a career in acting.
This was 1994, and Charlize found herself living in a fleapit hotel on Fairfax, coincidentally called The Farmer’s Daughter. She was flat broke and struggling, eating bread stolen from restaurants. No agent was interested. Like many actresses before her, she had some “glamour” shots taken – pictures that, several years later, would come back to haunt her. The ulcers she’d first suffered in her early teens now flared up again, holding her back for six months. Yet, strangely, her problems would serve her well. One day she was in a bank, attempting to cash a much-needed cheque for $500. The teller refused as it was an out-of-state cheque and Charlize, by now at the end of her tether, went ballistic, treating the teller and the bank’s staff and customers to much of the most colourful language South Africa has to offer. Her mood was not improved when, as she left, she was approached by a guy she presumed was a sleazeball on the make. Her performance had impressed him, he said, he could take her far. Yeah, she thought, right.
As it turned out, she was wrong and he was right. The sleazeball was, in fact, John Crosby, a longtime talent manager then representing John Hurt and Rene Russo. Promising Gerda he would act as her guardian, he took Charlize on, hooked her up with a few appreciative female casting directors and sent her to acting classes with Ivana Chubbuck to get rid of that thick Afrikaans accent. She’d attend these classes with a girl soon to be her room-mate and best friend, Ivana Milicevic (later to score with The Amy Show).
The training and new connections helped. Within months, Theron had made her screen debut in Children Of the Corn III. She was just a young mum in the park, in a 3-second non-speaking role, but it was a start. Now things were moving. In fact, they were moving so fast she almost rolled right into a disaster when she made the final short-list for the lead in Joe Eszterhas’s Showgirls, being narrowly pipped by Elizabeth Berkley. The film would famously send Berkley’s career into freefall, leading Theron to later comment “It was like I had some guardian angel”.
One part that would come her way was in Hollywood Confidential, intended to be a TV series where ex-cop Edward James Olmos would run a private detective agency (the Hollywood Confidential of the title) operating in LA’s seamy underground. The pilot would see embezzlement in a strip club and a famous director trying to get rid of his pregnant and much younger girlfriend, the major point being to introduce Olmos and his crack team, including Charlize and Thomas Jane in one of his earlier roles. Theron would play the very sexy Sally Bowen, who goes undercover at the strip club, gets nabbed by her bartender suspect and badly beaten up. Unfortunately, UPN would not take up the option of the series, and the pilot would appear as a rather unsatisfactory TV movie in 1997.
By that time, Charlize would already have established a burgeoning reputation as one of the most promising young actresses around (as well as appearing in TV ads for Martini and Axe). She’d made her debut proper in Two Days In The Valley, directed by John Herzfeld, who back in 1983 had made his own directing debut with Two Of A Kind, an unsuccessful attempt to match the Grease phenomenon by re-teaming John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Two Days… was very different, though, being a Tarantino-style thriller where the lives of cops, art dealers, suicidal writers and Olympic skiiers all converged, with James Spader bringing his own very special brand of sadism to the proceedings as a particularly cruel hit-man. Theron would play Spader’s girlfriend and accomplice, Helga Svelgen, a Norwegian ice-queen who coldly revels in his vicious exploits. She would, though, bring extra heat to their sex scenes (despite Spader’s scandalous use of ice cubes), as well as to an outrageously brutal cat-fight with Teri Hatcher. Such was the intensity during filming that Hatcher’s first punch actually connected, knocking Theron down. More ice would be applied, this time to minimise the swelling on her face, and the extra adrenalin and tension made for an impressive final product.
The part of Helga Svelgen had originally been intended for the Dutch model Daphne Deckers, soon to marry tennis ace Richard Krajicek, but she’d been too busy. Theron certainly made the most of her chance, and now found herself hired by her early hero Tom Hanks for his directorial debut, That Thing You Do! This would involve a young Pennsylvanian pop group in 1964 and follow their shaky trajectory as they score a one-off hit. Tom Everett Scott would play the band’s drummer, who joins just at the beginning of their rise, while Charlize would be his girlfriend, a fickle bombshell who dislikes music and brazenly dumps him for a dentist. It was a small role, but she made it memorable, being described in one review as having “sizzle and sly comic flair”. Hanks himself was very impressed, going so far as to call her “the most naturally confident and talented actress I have ever worked with”. She’d been the first actress he’d auditioned, he added, and the first he’d cast.
After Hollywood Confidential had finally been aired, Theron next showed up in Jonathan Lynn’s Trial And Error. This was the first cinematic attempt to cash in on the popularity of Michael Richards, Kramer in Seinfeld, and teamed him with that ever-reliable comic buddy Jeff Daniels. Like Lynn’s earlier My Cousin Vinny, this saw New Yorkers bringing chaos to a small town (here actor Richards steps in when lawyer Daniels is too wasted to defend a con-man friend of his boss). And, also, like My Cousin Vinny, which brought an unexpected Oscar to Marisa Tomei, the movie had a strong female part – Theron’s. As waitress Billy Tyler, who falls for Daniels only to discover he’s engaged to his boss’s posh daughter, she was allowed to be sexy, sweet, proud, pained and forgiving, and actually did it so well her sideline romance became more interesting than the core story.
Now she was entering the major leagues. Next came The Devil’s Advocate, where she was credited alongside Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves. Here Reeves played a small-time Florida lawyer so skilled at defending the patently guilty that he’s recruited by a big New York firm headed by one John Milton (Pacino). Charlize, as his initially sexy and vibrant wife, is at first happy to enter this world of wealth, but soon finds herself neglected and gradually slips into paranoia and then full-blown suicidal mania. Her role was vital. It had to explain Reeves’ dilemma and his eventual decision – in short, it had to make us care. Otherwise the whole movie would collapse into supernatural silliness. So, for three months, Theron spent an hour a day with a psychotherapist, “practising” schizophrenia. And what a job she did. It was unexpectedly human, truly harrowing, actually better than the movie deserved. In fact, considering the nominations for that year, she should really have been put forward for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. She’d worked for it, too, having read three times for director Taylor Hackford, three more times with Reeves, then travelled four times from LA to New York for screen tests.
1998 was another big year. First she had a brief but memorable part in Woody Allen’s Celebrity, where loathsome journalist Kenneth Branagh attempted the crawl his way up the social ladder of the glitterati. Selfishness and inconstancy were the watchwords as he divorced wife Judy Davis, got it on with movie star Melanie Griffith, and dumped girlfriend Famke Janssen for Winona Ryder. Charlize would appear as another temptation, a supermodel who describes herself as polymorphously perverse – that is, she can have orgasms simply by being touched. Sticking her tongue in Branagh’s ear and straddling Anthony Mason on the dancefloor, Theron played it to the hilt, and yet again revealed her comic talent. Later, discussing the shoot, Branagh would recall sitting with Charlize in the back of a Teamsters van, waiting for the rain to stop. It was “the filthiest conversation I’ve ever had”, he said. “The two Teamster lads couldn’t believe their ears. Charlize is a whirlwind of sexual energy”. Method acting, indeed.
Next came a headlining role in a Disney remake of Mighty Joe Young. This saw Theron take a trip home to Africa as the daughter of a Dian Fossey-type, who’s grown up alongside an ape of enormous size – the Joe Young of the title. Naturally, bad guys see the hairy giant as a money-making opportunity and Charlize, along with zoologist Bill Paxton, struggle to save him from the poachers. It was another major success, partly because Rick Baker created such credible ape effects, and also because Theron and Paxton pulled off that most difficult of jobs – acting beside an immense imaginary anthropoid. It’s easy to do a Fay Wray, just lie there and scream, trickier when you have to pretend it’s your friend.
Work was going well, but there were personal hardships still to endure. Back in South Africa, Gerda had married again, to a local man, creating emotional complications for Charlize, who thought of herself and her mum as a unit. She’d tried to sabotage this new relationship until her step-father taught her about respect and trust, something she’d not learned from her own father. Then, in May, 1997, on the first day of the Mighty Joe Young shoot, Theron’s 22-year-old step-brother was killed in a car crash. Charlize knew the boy well, having grown up in the same neighbourhood and attended the same sports clubs, they were the same age. So soon was this new unit shaken by tragedy. It would not survive long, Gerda eventually divorcing her new husband, selling up the business and moving to Los Angeles, where she’d remain extremely close to Charlize.
Despite this sad loss, there was new love found. At Christmas, 1997, Charlize had taken her family on holiday to Hawaii. Here she would attend a gig at the Hard Rock Cafe by the band Third Eye Blind. This wasn’t just due to a love of music. Through the media, she and the band’s singer Stephen Jenkins had expressed an interest in each other, had made phone contact, and now, backstage, they met and began a relationship that would last until 2001. When asked about his girlfriend’s more intense performances, Jenkins would explain that, though she was ordinarily very peaceful, she could bring mayhem to a part because she knew what strife was. She was, he said with suitably African colour, a lioness.
In Hollywood, Theron was now very much in demand. 1999 saw her in The Astronaut’s Wife, where she was the titular spouse of Johnny Depp. Here Depp has suffered an accident in space, and returned to Earth in a coma. When he awakes, he is altered, secretive and strange, and Theron first tries to reach him, then begins to fear having his child as something monstrous may well be afoot. No one believes her, as they didn’t in The Devil’s Advocate – the roles being somewhat similar. Once again Charlize would impress as a loyal wife wrecked by outside forces.
She followed this with Lasse Hallstrom’s The Cider House Rules. Here Tobey Maguire played a young man being groomed by doctor Michael Caine to take over an orphanage in Maine. On the quiet, Caine is an illegal abortionist and when Paul Rudd and Charlize (described as a girl who “took to both labour and sophistication with ease”) arrive to employ his services, Maguire is much taken with the charming, liberated young woman, leaving with them and working as an apple-picker on Rudd’s family farm. When Rudd goes off to World War 2, Theron is bored and begins to fall for the smitten Maguire, leading him on a voyage of self-discovery that will take him back to the orphanage.
1999 also brought a smattering of trouble when those earlier glamour shots of Charlize showed up in the May issue of Playboy. Claiming they had been “for private use”, Theron would begin a legal battle with photographer Guido Argentini.
The movie fared well at the box office, as Mighty Joe Young had done, and, though she’d added new dimensions to her earlier “girlfriend” parts, now Theron was able to widen her range. First came the comedy thriller Reindeer Games, directed by John Frankenheimer, a part Theron took after Ben Affleck begged her on his knees at the Golden Globes (she told him “If you keep doing that, I’m going to keep saying no just so I can watch you”). Here Affleck’s a jailbird whose cellmate is in sexy correspondence with Charlize. On his release, Affleck steals his mate’s ID and winds up in a passionate encounter with Charlize, only to find that she was really trying to tap his buddy for info on the casino he used to work in. Enter Theron’s scuzzy, mental brother Gary Sinise, and Affleck’s drawn into a heist that will surely end in disaster.
The film was messy and unconvincing, but the seductress role did allow Charlize to switch between soft sweetness and hardboiled cruelty. Her depth was becoming ever clearer. This was further revealed in The Yards, where Mark Wahlberg is released from jail only to be recruited by his friend Joaquin Phoenix into a gang using bribery, intimidation and violence to win a war between rival subway contractors. When a murder is committed, Wahlberg is prime suspect and his innocence is upheld only by his mother, Ellen Burstyn, and his heroin-addicted ex-girlfriend, Charlize, now hooked up with Phoenix. It was a gloomy piece, dark and depressing, but good experience for Theron, who held her own beside the heavyweight likes of Burstyn and Faye Dunaway. She’d actually won the part before she agreed to Reindeer Games and did so against the wishes of producer Harvey Weinstein who thought she was too beautiful and vibrant to convince anyone she was a downward-spiralling junkie. Proved wrong, Weinstein would join Affleck in persuading her to take Reindeer Games, even having the part rewritten for her.
Now came a more traditional “girlfriend” when she played Robert De Niro’s wife in Men Of Honour. Here Cuba Gooding Jr played Carl Brashear, a man attempting to become the first black US military diver, despite being tortured in training by De Niro’s crazily severe and possibly racist Master Chief. De Niro would be revealed as obsessive and alcoholic, qualities that test his marriage to Charlize, whose reactions momentarily move the movie out of the realms of machismo. But really her part was so brief and her relationship with De Niro so underdeveloped, her presence was hardly necessary, simply making you wonder how much better the movie might have been.
Next came an infinitely better role in Robert Redford’s The Legend Of Bagger Vance. Set during the Depression in Georgia, this saw a man go bust building a classic golf course, and his daughter (Charlize) attempting to save the operation by organising a winner-takes-all contest between golfing legends Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen, as well as Savannah’s finest, Matt Damon, traumatised by his WWI experiences. It was another well-rounded performance from Theron as first she was sassy enough to persuade the town’s elders into accepting the tournament, then sweet and wise enough to turn Damon’s head and game around – well, with a little help from Will Smith’s mystic caddie.
After such a promising start, it was perhaps inevitable that her career would take a dip. This happened with Sweet November, a movie for which she turned down the Kate Beckinsale role in Pearl Harbour. This was a remake of the 1968 film starring Sandy Dennis and Anthony Newley, and saw Charlize as a young girl who takes men into her life and her bed for one month, to improve them spiritually and socially. Cheerful, plucky and seductive, she turns her attentions to hard-nosed, self-absorbed ad executive Keanu Reeves and knocks him into shape, the situation complicated by his discovery that she’s dying from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Despite a strong performance from Theron, the movie was soppy and sappy beyond belief, making your average chick-flick seem like T2. It was rightfully Razzie-nominated. Things could only get better.
Following a brief cameo as the madam of an escort service in 15 Minutes, which saw her reunited with Robert De Niro and director John Herzfeld, she returned to Woody Allen with The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion. This was a period piece that saw Allen as an insurance fraud investigator who’s hypnotised and ordered to break into the houses he has made burglar-proof. Charlize would play a sensuous, opium-smoking actress who catches Allen in mid-job, and attempts to seduce him, but cannot break the mesmeric spell. As with Celebrity, she was energetic, playful and sexy but was given too little screen time to save what was one of Allen’s more lacklustre efforts.
Now came Trapped, a big one – for personal reasons rather than professional. Here Kevin Bacon and Courtney Love played kidnappers who take the child of doctor Stuart Townsend and his textile designer wife, Charlize. Separating the happy couple, they hope to divide, conquer and make off with the loot. But, using their wits and connections, Townsend and Theron gradually out-manoeuvre their captives (Theron having a particularly hard time with a sadistic Bacon) and it all ends in ultra-violence.
Before filming began, Theron’s relationship with Stephen Jenkins had fizzled out, the couple having been continually pulled apart by touring, recording and filming schedules. Now she began seeing Townsend, the Irish actor who’d broken through in the brutal Resurrection Man and the comic About Adam. During the shoot, this was not easy. Theron shared only two scenes with Townsend while Love had many. This was surely one of the reasons why the actresses famously formed a mutual dislike. Nevertheless, Charlize and Stuart would remain together.
After Trapped came Waking Up In Reno, an odd road-trip comedy about two southern couples. Here Billy Bob Thornton played a Little Rock car dealer who cheats on wife Natasha Richardson with Charlize, the spouse of his best friend, Patrick Swayze. Together, all four take off for a monster truck rally in Reno, with all their secrets being revealed along the way. Charlize would again show her comic abilities as her character was constantly trying to get pregnant but, as so often before, she was under-utilized. The same would go for her next effort, the big budget remake of The Italian Job, which saw her once more credited beside Mark Wahlberg. Here a crime gang, led by Donald Sutherland, pull off a heist in Venice, only for gang-member Ed Norton to kill Sutherland and make off with the $35 million. Seeking revenge, Wahlberg organises another gang to rob Norton, this time including Charlize, Sutherland’s bereaved daughter, who’s also an expert safe-cracker. The red Mini Cooper she drives will also, of course, prove an asset. Once again, Theron would bring weight and class to a fairly perfunctory role. She’d also, as the rest of the cast would admit, prove herself to be the best driver amongst them.
Now, at last, she secured a role her talents merited, and it sprang from that stand-out performance in The Devil’s Advocate. Writer and director Patty Jenkins had seen it and recognised that an actress who’d allow herself to be filmed with her nose running had to be open enough to star in Monster, a movie she was writing about Aileen Wuornos, America’s first female serial killer. Theron grabbed the chance and, putting on over 30 pounds, made herself next-to-unrecognisable as the abused prostitute who, at last finding love in a lesbian relationship (with Christina Ricci) begins to kill her “johns” on the Florida Interstate in order to fund a better life together.
Theron certainly did her research. She studied Nick Broomfield’s 1992 documentary Aileen Wuornos: The Selling Of A Serial Killer, which concerned the original efforts to flog the story to Hollywood (it was actually made into a TV movie called Overkill in 1992, starring Jean Smart). She studied Broomfield’s out-takes and all the information he’d gleaned. And finally she had it, all Wuornos’s ticks and body movements and, deciding to relate her character to a stray dog, beaten so many times she’s paranoid, she had the emotional content, too.
If her performance was stunning, perhaps critical reaction was even more so. One review raved that “Miss Theron drops all pretence of starlet beauty and locates the beast within her character”. Many compared her efforts to those of De Niro in Raging Bull. Robert Ebert called it “one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema”. Naturally, she walked away with a Best Actress Oscar (plus a Golden Globe, Silver Bear and Independent Spirit award), and was the first African actress to do so. She had won it on what would have been Aileen Wuornos’s 48th birthday, Wuornos having been finally executed in October, 2002, while the film was being shot. Theron would return to South Africa a heroine, she’d be hugged by Nelson Mandela and presented with an ounce of gold by President Thabo Mbeki. The President would honour her with the words “Miss Theron, in her personal life, represents a grand metaphor of South Africa’s move from agony to achievement”.
Charlize would follow Monster with something far less fraught, The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers, where Geoffrey Rush would follow the great comedian’s path from The Goons, through Clouseau to Being There. Naturally, considering Sellers had three wives and various affairs, as well as creating some of comedy’s finest characters, there was not much time for anyone bar Rush to build their part, but Theron did well as Sellers’ second wife, the Swedish actress Britt Ekland, who married him after an 11-day romance in the early Sixties. Proof came from Ekland herself who, having initially described Theron’s casting as “nonsense” (she was, apparently, too tall and too old), described her performance as “fantastic” and the resemblance as “uncanny”.
Next would come Head In The Clouds, an epic romantic drama set in the Thirties and Forties and ranging across England, France and Spain. Here Charlize would play aristocratic Gilda Besse, a notorious hedonist who sweeps Cambridge student Stuart Townsend off his feet in 1933. Later, she’s become a photographer in Paris and he moves into the apartment she shares with Penelope Cruz. And so it goes on, a twisting tale of love and betrayal, passing through the Spanish Civil War to occupied Paris and beyond, with loyalties tested to the absolute maximum.
Her next feature couldn’t have been more different. Aeon Flux had been a cartoon series made by Peter Chung for MTV’s Liquid Television back in 1995-6. Set in the distant future, it would see its titular protagonist, a female rebel, sent on mad missions and battling with her lover and enemy Trevor Goodchild. To begin with, she would be killed each week, then “rebooted” for the next episode. There was never any plot, point or explanation, though Aeon Flux herself, usually clad in bondage gear, would begin to spout the occasional tough, sexy one-liner. There’d be plenty of those when Charlize finally brought the project to the Silver Screen, playing the rebel battling against Goodchild’s tyranny in a plague-ridden Year 2415. Some critics would compared Aeon Flux to Halle Berry’s Catwoman, claiming that Theron had suffered a similar fall from grace. But Aeon Flux, fascinating in its ideas if a little slow in its execution, really wasn’t that bad.
Very different again would be Class Action, telling the story of the lawsuit brought by female Minnesotan miner Lois Jenson, the first successful sexual harassment case in US history. Charlize would star as Josie Aimes, who flees an abusive husband only to take more verbal and physical grief as she works in the mines to support her kids. Directed by Niki “Whale Rider” Caro, the movie would deal not simply with the injustice of the harrassment, but also the prejudice of a small town where the men are forgiven and the female miners treated as incompetents, tarts or, at best, job-thieves. It was stirring stuff and would bring Oscar nominations for both Theron and her co-star Frances McDormand (who also appeared in Aeon Flux), playing a down-home and folksy union negotiator.
Following a brief stint revealing her comic timing in the TV series Arrested Development, she’d produce and appear in The Ice At The Bottom Of The World, set in Chesapeake Bay, where a grizzled Navy captain reluctantly retires and brings further chaos to the family he’s so often left behind. Theron would find plenty to occupy her in the role of the captain’s daughter, a heroin addict with a mixed race child.
Outside her screen work, Theron works hard for charity, particularly animal causes. One businessman paid $42,000 to charity for one dinner with her. She also got involved with the Cape Town Rape Crisis Centre, helping them when the government refused to let them state the exact number of rapes committed in South Africa each year. The horror of it was that, due to an ancient superstition, many AIDS victims were under the impression that they’d be cured if they had sex with a virgin or a child. With Theron’s help, the CTRCC won its fight and was able, at least, to release the real figures.
Onscreen, it’s looking great. Once, tired of trying to escape the model tag, Charlize Theron said “It seems my whole career has been about having to prove I can actually play the part”. And she had every right to be pissy as she’d been excellent right from her very first substantial role. Now, having appeared in a L’Oreal campaign and Monster in the same year, she should have no such worries. Let’s hope that with the pressure off she’ll still deliver. She surely will.