How did Charlize Theron Get Started in Acting?


Charlize Theron’s career spans a wide range of genres, and she is one of the highest-paid performers in the world. The South African-American actor has a diverse body of work under his belt, including roles in comedies, romantic comedies, science fiction, horror, and more. Few actors in Hollywood can claim such a diverse range of work.

With roles in Mighty Joe Young, The Devil’s Advocate, and The Cider House Rules, Theron rose to fame in the 1990s. Although such performances aided in laying the groundwork for Theron’s early success, it was her portrayal of serial murderer Aileen Wuornos in the film Monster in 2003 that catapulted her to prominence, earning her the Academy Award for Best Actress. But how did she get started in acting? Continue reading to learn more. 

Humble Beginnings

Charlize Theron

South African actress, producer, and former fashion model Charlize Theron is the only child of Gerda and Charles Theron. Theron was born in Benoni, in what was then South Africa’s Transvaal Province. Her great-great-uncle Danie Theron fought in the Second Boer War. Her French ancestors were early Huguenot pioneers in South Africa, and she also has German and Dutch background. Occitan surname “Theron” was originally written “Théron.” When she immigrated to the United States, she altered the pronunciation to make it seem more “American”.

Theron attended Putfontein Primary School (Laerskool Putfontein), which she subsequently described as a time when she “didn’t fit in.” Theron started her education at the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg when she was 13 and was moved to boarding school. Theron is fluent in English, although Afrikaans is her native tongue.

How was she discovered?

Charlize Theron

According to Theron, her rags-to-riches tale is a fairly feisty and compelling one. Theron got into a fight with a bank teller on one especially difficult day after the latter had declined to cash one of Theron’s last cheques because of a problem with her citizenship. The most practical course of events, however, was that the consumer in line behind her solve all of her financial issues.

That client who saw the incident from a distance was talent agent John Crosby. He paid her check himself before handing her his business card in an effort to calm Theron down and come up with a solution. Theron was subsequently introduced to acting classes by the talent agency, and she later scored a no-speaking role in the horror Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest. Her first speaking part in 2 Days in the Valley came after that.

Theron said that it is incredibly incorrect for her to claim that there is no such thing as the perfect location and right time for luck when discussing this weird event in an interview with Oprah. She continues by describing her mental condition at the time, saying she is unsure of what she would have done if she hadn’t met John. Theron was clueless on how to get a management. She genuinely doubts that she would be in this location right now if I hadn’t been in the bank that day. Many excellent actors never have the chance to perform.

Rene Russo and John Hurt are only two actors that Crosby has worked with. Theron has since created a great career in two different sections of the film business under his renowned leadership from this fortuitous meeting.

Charlize Theron’s Fruitful Career

In 2004, Theron had two film appearances, in Head in the Clouds and The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. Theron received an Academy Award nomination for best actress in 2005’s North Country for her portrayal of a miner fighting sexual abuse. She then made appearances in the drama In the Valley of Elah (2007), the superhero film Hancock (2008), and the postapocalyptic drama The Road (2009), which was based on Cormac McCarthy’s book of the same name.

Theron played a purposefully immature lady who goes back to her hometown in search of her high school sweetheart in the dramedy Young Adult (2011). In the dark fairytale adaption Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) and its follow-up The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016), she brought life to the screen as the evil queen. Similar to this, she played the head of an astronaut expedition in the 2012 sci-fi movie Prometheus.

In later roles, Theron played a gunslinger who helps a shepherd played by Seth MacFarlane in the parody A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014), an intimidating warrior on a mission to free a group of enslaved women in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), and Libby Day, a woman who is looking into the brutal murder of her family in Dark Places (2015), an adaptation of the thriller novel by Gillian Flynn. Theron played a cranky monkey in the 2016 animated film Kubo and the Two Strings. She starred in the 2017 action movies Atomic Blonde, in which she played a British agent, and The Fate of the Furious, the eighth installment in the Fast and the Furious series. Theron starred in two movies in 2018: Gringo, a dark comedy about a pharmaceutical company executive who is abducted by drug cartel members in Mexico, and Tully, for which she received praise for her unwavering depiction of a stressed-out mother of three.

Theron went on to act in the 2019 romantic comedy Long Shot as a US secretary of state who wants to run for president. Her other 2019 credits included Bombshell, a documentary about the sexual harassment crisis that prompted Roger Ailes to step down as Fox News Channel president. Theron earned her third Oscar nomination for the role of Megyn Kelly in the movie. She later made appearances in the action films F9: The Fast Saga (2021), a sequel to the Fast and Furious franchise, and The Old Guard (2020), about a gang of immortal mercenaries. She also provided Morticia’s voice at this period in the animated comedies The Addams Family (2019) and its 2021 follow-up.


From that point on, Charlize Theron kept showcasing her talent and adaptability in a variety of highly praised movies, growing to be one of Hollywood’s most admired and sought-after actresses.