Netflix’s Badass The Old Guard Video Reveals Charlize Theron’s Axe Training

Charlize Theron in The Old Guard
(Image credit: (Netflix))

Netflix’s The Old Guard has become one of the biggest streaming hits of the summer, effortlessly wrestling away other titles to become one of the most watched movies on the service of all time. Following Charlize Theron’s work in Mad Max: Fury Road and Atomic Blonde, we’d think the action movie would be another day at work. As this behind-the-scenes video shows, portraying an immortal involves an incredible amount of training from the actress. Take a look:

Whew, that’s intense. The video from Netflix has Charlize Theron and The Old Guard’s fight coordinator Danny Hernandez breaking down all the sweat that went into bringing her character to life through her impressive physicality training. It sounds like it was absolutely non-stop during the length of the production as she worked on martial arts, axe training, close combat with weapons and sword training.

For three to four hours a day Charlize Theron was actively working with the fight coordinators, switching between learning her striking motions with hands, throws and weapon works. Theron called the process “really fucking hard” but she came out of it proud of her hard work and more than happy to do much of it on her own.

As the 44-year-old badass actress explained, doing the moves themselves is not too bad, but it's the fact that she has to repeat the movements between 40 to 80 times during a shoot to get it right that takes the real toll. Theron was consistently hitting the gym so she could build the upper body strength to wield the axe for hours upon end. And that’s without touching on her time fighting on horseback.

Danny Hernandez is a prominent stunt coordinator who has worked on a number of Marvel movies including Avengers: Endgame along with Birds of Prey and Venom. Theron’s co-star KiKi Layne had a ton of training to do as well ahead of the film, and spent many of their action shoots worried she’d accidentally hit Charlize in the face. Their intense prep certainly pays off – every fight sequence in The Old Guard is heart-pounding and brutal.

The movie was helmed by Gina Prince-Bythewood in her first action movie ever. The director took on the Netflix project shortly after her work in Sony’s Spider-Verse film Silver & Black fell through. Based on a graphic novel by Greg Rucka, the film revolves around a group of immortal beings who become exposed for their identities.

Following its success, Charlize Theron is definitely down to continue playing Andy in a sequel. She’s hoping the sequel will focus on Andy’s relationship with Van Veronica Ngo’s Quynh. Check out our breakdown of the The Old Guard ending here and stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more behind-the scenes movie news.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.