Charlize Theron Answers Some Burning Questions
09.17.09 by BJSprecher
When so many other Hollywood actresses are doing everything possible to look good, Charlize Theron seems determined to buck the trend by playing more rough-around-the-edges female roles. Her turn as the decidedly unattractive serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster shocked audiences but earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress. She followed up that role by playing a victim of sexual harassment in North Country, which also earned her an Oscar nomination. Theron is once again set to play an unglamorous role in The Burning Plain.
Directed by Guillermo Arriaga, the award-winning writer of Babel, 21 Grams, and Amores Perros, The Burning Plain is a non-linear tale in which Theron plays a sexually promiscuous, suicidal character who is forced to confront the sins of her past. While it sounds like playing a character with such heavy baggage would weigh an actor down emotionally, Theron says that it's just a job.
I love what I do, and I am not a tortured artist. I didn't necessarily start out that way, but I've kind of learned over the years the things that are important to me. I love my job but I also love my life. I started doing really good work that I was really happy with and not torturing myself and everyone around me. I became very disciplined about my work, and I think it made me a better actor. It's exhausting to be depressed and f--ing heavy, and I find that when I'm exhausted, my work suffers.
While Theron has received wide recognition for her dramatic performances, she said that she would not be adverse to branching out into other genres.
I would love to do comedy. But whether it's comedy or another genre, [it's about] just wanting to do work that really matters to me.
Theron is a staunch advocate of gay rights and has said in the past that she would not consider marrying her boyfriend, actor Stuart Townsend, until gay couples everywhere are afforded the same opportunity. When asked if this still held true for her, Theron said:
I've already once lived in a country where certain people got certain things and certain people didn't, and I refuse to live in another country that does that. I will not take part in a ceremony that right now is not available to everybody.
The Burning Plain also stars Kim Basinger, Jennifer Lawrence, and Joaquim de Almeida.