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2003 was a big year for Charlize Theron. Along with co-producing and starring alongside Christina Ricci in Patty Jenkins’ film debut Monster (which netted Theron both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe), the actress also appeared in The Italian Job, the American remake of the same-named 1969 British film. However, in order to participate in The Italian Job, Theron was required to go through a much longer training period compared to her male co-stars.
During the beginning chunk of San Diego Comic-Con @ Home panel, Charlize Theron: Evolution of a Badass - An Action Hero Career Retrospective, Charlize Theron talked about how The Italian Job was a “great experience” in the sense of how she realized there was “so much misconception” around women in the action genre, and like the rest of her co-stars, she had to learn how to pull off those difficult, car-centric stunts. However, there was an “unfair process” that went with that, as Theron explained with the following:
I was the only woman with a bunch of guys, and I remember vividly getting the schedule in our pre-production, and they had scheduled me for six weeks more hard training than any of the guys. It was just so insulting, but it was also the thing that put a real fire under my ass, and I was like, ‘Alright, you guys want to play this game? Let’s go.’ And I made it a point to outdrive all of those guys. I vividly remember Mark Wahlberg, halfway through one of our training sessions, pulling over and throwing up because he was so nauseous from doing 360s.
Charlize Theron added that she was able to do a reverse spin stunt inside a warehouse filled with props and people all on her own, which was a “huge moment” for her. Clearly that month and a half of training paid off big time, and the actress walked away from The Italian Job realizing that women “are so unfairly thought of or treated” when it comes this particular genre.
If you haven’t seen The Italian Job, Charlize Theron starred as Stella Bridger, the daughter of Donald Sutherland’s John Bridger, who was a skilled safe cracker like her father. Theron’s other cast-mates included the aforementioned Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, Jason Statham, Seth Green and Mos Def, among others. The Italian Job was a critical and commercial success, and for a while there was talk of making a sequel called The Brazilian Job, but that project never moved forward.
One thing’s for certain: Charlize Theron has established herself as one of the biggest female action stars of the modern era. In the years following The Italian Job’s release, Theron has appeared in Aeon Flux, Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus, Mad Max: Fury Road, Atomic Blonde and The Fate of the Furious, to name just a few of her action/more fantastical-oriented credits. She can currently be seen playing an axe-wielding immortal in Netflix’s The Old Guard.
Charlize Theron will next appear in the ninth Fast & Furious movie, F9, which was originally supposed to come out in May, but was moved to April 2, 2021 as a result of the current health crisis. Keep checking in with CinemaBlend for more updates on Theron’s career.