Charlize Theron interview

The acclaimed dramatic actor exercises her funnybone opposite Seth MacFarlane

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At 38, Charlize Theron is so beautiful she could still be playing nothing but eye candy in various states of undress. But the South African-born actor and model has not only left those days far behind (if she ever went through them) – her talent has kept her in demand since she first came to attention in ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ way back in 1997 (when, yes, she got undressed).

Something we haven’t seen a lot of from her, however, is comedy. Not that the star isn’t good at it – just look at the trailer for her new movie, Seth MacFarlane’s ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’. She plays Anna, gunslinger and love interest to MacFarlane’s cowardly sheep farmer Albert, who is fed up with his perilous existence on the American frontier.

The idea of Theron taking part in toilet and genitalia jokes is intriguing. Does comedy come naturally to her? ‘I don’t know about naturally,’ Theron says. ‘It’s still a creative process and you’re trying to find the story instead of just thinking of it as a comedy or a joke.’

'The idea of Theron taking part in toilet and genitalia jokes is intriguing'


MacFarlane’s previous film ‘Ted’ was a surprise smash hit that, like his outrageous animated TV shows ‘Family Guy’, ‘American Dad’ and ‘The Cleveland Show’, provoked plenty of controversy. ‘I’m always shocked when people say they find him risqué,’ Theron says. ‘He has an acute awareness of what’s happening in the world and makes great commentary on that. And it’s shocking to me when people get so offended by it.’

Theron won an Oscar playing serial killer Aileen Wuornos in 2003’s ‘Monster’ – about as unfunny a movie as you can imagine – and received a further nomination as a survivor of sexual abuse in ‘North Country’. It was only with 2011’s underrated comedic drama ‘Young Adult’ that we started to see a funny side to her, as a drunken writer bent on reclaiming her high school boyfriend – admittedly, humour coming from a very dark place.

‘Comedy’s very specific,’ she says. ‘It’s very much driven by pace. Humour is based more on taste than drama is, and I’ve had a lot of comedy offered that I didn’t really think was funny. So for me it’s only been harder in the sense that I’m very specific with what I want to do – and that includes comedy.’

And was working with a balls-to-the-wall comedian like MacFarlane a way of proving she could do it? ‘I’m so fortunate to be in a place in my career where I don’t necessarily feel like I have to prove myself on that level anymore. You want to prove it more to yourself than you do to other people.’

'A Million Ways to Die in the West’ is now showing.


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