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Netflix's The Old Guard will put Charlize Theron in the role of a "comic book superhero," at least of a sort. The film is based on a graphic novel about immortals tasked with protecting the world. However, while that description might make it sound like it's part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (it sort of is) The Old Guard is a somewhat different story, which is exactly why Charlize Theron says she was drawn to it.
The actress, who will play the role of Andy in The Old Guard, says that when she read the graphic novel which the film is based on, the book excited her because, even with all the story's fantastical elements, there was a very grounded character for her to play. According to Theron...
My initial reaction when I read the Old Guard graphic novel was that I felt there was something very grounded in Andy. That was the thing that excited me: despite the concept, she felt real, and not ‘fantasy’. So, I tried to bring a genuine exhaustion to her, and not get bogged down in the idea that she’s lived thousands of years, she’s seen it all, and she knows every kind of martial art there is.
The Old Guard sees Charlize Theron's Andy as one member in a group of immortal warriors who have been fighting to protect the world for centuries. Certainly, it's going to have some elements that you expect to find in traditional graphic novels, like lots of action and heroes who can't be killed, but what set the character apart for Theron, as she tells Empire, is that, well, she's tired.
Heroes who can be called upon to do anything at any time are great for the right story, but if you were actually immortal, there would almost certainly be times when you were just done with it all. This more realistic element in the otherwise magical story is what Charlize Theron tells Empire she liked about the character.
If you haven's seen the trailer for The Old Guard, check it out below.
There certainly appears to be no lack of over the top action in The Old Guard, so if you don't need your characters to be grounded, there's still going to be plenty of fun to be had here, but for those who, like Charlize Theron, want more, it will apparently be there as well.
This isn't the first time that Charlize Theron has played a powerful character based on a graphic novel. Her Atomic Blonde character was also a super spy who could do almost anything, but the movie made a point to show that the scars the character got from those battles were quite real. Perhaps she found the same connection to a grounded character in that case.
The Old Guard drops on Netflix July 10.