Charlize Theron booking

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A violent childhood compelled her to succeed and when she won an Oscar, Theron knew she’d made
it. How did the beautiful blonde shake off the ‘girlfriend’ tag to become a Monster? Charlize Theron
was born on 7 August 1975 and grew up on a farm outside of Johannesburg. She was named after
her father Charles who was of French descent, while her mother Gerda hailed from German stock –
but both parents were born and raised in South Africa. Aged six, Theron began ballet lessons and at
12 was sent to a boarding school in Johannesburg, specialising in the arts. Here, Theron stepped up
her dance training, studying classical ballet as well as flamenco, Greek and contemporary dance.
Back at home though, trouble was brewing. Father Charles had slipped into alcoholism and Theron
had come to feel like her mother’s protector after Charles started to physically abuse her. In 1991,
when Theron was back from school for the weekend and upstairs in her room, the situation came to a
head. Charles attacked Gerda once more and she shot him dead (for years Theron told interviewers
her father was killed in a car crash). The incident was viewed as self-defence and therefore Gerda
didn’t serve any time in prison. Keen to move on, Gerda encouraged Theron to enter a Johannesburg
modelling contest. Theron won the contest and flew to Italy to represent South Africa at the
International New Model Today competition. She won again and soon modelling work came flooding
in. Soon she was living on her own in Milan, travelling to jobs all over Europe. After a year, Theron
moved to New York to study at the Joffrey Ballet School, financing herself by modelling in her spare
time. Sadly, her prima ballerina dreams turned to dust when her knee “blew out” in class, forcing her
into premature retirement. In 1994, Theron found herself living in a cheap hotel, broke and eating
bread stolen from restaurants. Fate would play its card though when, while attempting to cash a muchneeded $500 donation from her mother, the cashier refused as it was an out-of-state cheque. Theron
went ballistic, giving the cashier and bank staff a taster of her South African fieriness.
Unbeknown to her, Theron’s blast had been witnessed by John Crosby, a long-time talent manager
then representing John Hurt and Rene Russo. He immediately offered to represent her. Crosby
organised acting classes and within months, Theron had made her acting debut in ‘Children of the
Corn III’. By 1997, Theron had already established a reputation as one of the most promising young
actresses on the scene by appearing in a few TV series as well as an ad for Martini. Her silver screen
debut was in Jonathan Lynn’s ‘Trial And Error’. Lynn’s previous hit film ‘My Cousin Vinny’ had earned
an unexpected Oscar for Marisa Tomei. Now Theron was entering the major league. ‘The Devil’s
Advocate’ (1997), also starring Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves, saw Theron act her socks off as
Reeves’s suicidal wife. 1998 saw Theron take a brief but memorable part in Woody Allen’s ‘Celebrity’,
followed by a lead part in a Disney remake of ‘Mighty Joe Young’. The film was a success and, slowly,
Theron’s profile was rising among fans and critics alike. In Hollywood, Theron was now very much in
demand. 1999 began with ‘The Astronaut’s Wife’, alongside Johnny Depp. Next, Theron featured in
Lasse Hallstrom’s ‘The Cider House Rules’. The film brought in well-earned box office ratings and
Theron was able to demonstrate a wider dimension to her acting abilities.
The Millennium began as a busy year for Theron, yet none of the four films she starred in proved a big
enough success to warrant any significant coverage for her. ‘Reindeer Games’ starring Ben Affleck
and ‘The Yards’ featuring Marl Wahlberg were minor hits. ‘Men of Honour’, in which she starred as
Robert De Niro’s alcoholic wife, drew a better audience reaction. By the start of 2001, Theron’s career
was at a point whereby her earning potential was far greater than it once had been, yet her status as
an A-list actor wasn’t quite sealed. ‘Sweet November’ was a box office flop, earning Theron a Razzie
nomination, and signifying the beginning of a nose-dive in her acting credibility. A brief cameo in ’15
Minutes’ followed, reuniting Theron with Robert De Niro, and she was also reunited with Woody Allen
in the period drama, ‘The Curse of the Jade Scorpion’. ‘Trapped’ in 2001 was significant to Theron for
more than professional reasons as it was here that she starred alongside the actor Stuart Townsend,
whom she started dating shortly afterwards.

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