CHARLIZE THERON has made a name for herself in movies that are as varied as Monster (2003) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). She is now acting in and has produced a movie that is particularly timely. The MeToo movement has taken a hold of the entertainment industry, and heads keep rolling. So a movie on the subject was bound to happen. Bombshell, starring Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie, tells the story of sexual harassment and discrimination at Fox News.
Have conversations changed since the MeToo and Time’sUp movements?
The conversation of sexual harassment has always been around for as long as I can remember being a woman, which happens to be my whole life. But it’s a different conversation today than it was, say, 10 years ago. I remember vividly making North Country in 2005 about an actual landmark case that happened in 1989 and people called it a period film. That says a lot about how we view or viewed harassment as something that had happened in the past and was dealt with and wasn’t around anymore. Now with these movements, the conversation has changed. Women were always aware that was not the case, we did not always have access to that conversation. Because I don’t think anybody believed us. And now we are at a time and place where so many women have bravely stepped up to tell their stories and it’s all because of the MeToo and Time’sUp movements and we realise this is a systemic problem we actually have to look at. So, to make Bombshell at this time is really, really important. I’ve never been a part of something that’s been that synchronised and I think the timing by chance happened to be right. We started long before any of this stuff took place, the Harvey Weinstein saga, Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer. So, it was kismet that we found this script at the time that we did and wanted to make
You gave up a successful modelling career. Was it because of the way in which you were treated as a woman?
No, it was just not the thing I wanted to do in my life, I just had no passion for it, and that does not take away from people who have a passion for it. I don’t want to belittle an industry that I think does really well for a lot of people, it just wasn’t my jam. I remember being on a shoot and feeling like there was nothing that I could do to make somebody happy. And ultimately that’s a really shitty position to be in when you are a young girl. So, I wanted to make this movie because I don’t believe that it is specific to one industry, I feel that it applies to women who are out on farms picking avocados, women who work in banks. I wanted to make the movie because I think that women all over the world can relate to it.
You seem to be a strong, courageous woman. Where do you get these traits from?
I think it stems from the fact that I have a real interest in wanting to make films and I think that when you have an interest or passion for something, you take ‘No’ as a small obstacle and you try just to jump over it. And, I think of my life, I’m pretty pragmatic, I’m an optimist. I always remind myself that if it is too easy, it wouldn’t be as valuable. So, whenever I find myself on a journey that is not going the way I want it to go, when there are struggles and obstacles to overcome, I remind myself that if this was easy, I wouldn’t care as much about it. Getting to the other side of it definitely feels more victorious.