Did Charlize Theron dump Sean Penn because he was ‘overly critical’ of her?


You know what surprises me? The lack of details around Charlize Theron and Sean Penn’s breakup. It happened so suddenly, people. One month ago, they were loved up at the Cannes Film Festival. Sean had flown to France specifically to walk the red carpet with Charlize for the premiere of HER film, Mad Max: Fury Road. In the months before, Charlize and Sean had been talking openly in interviews about their happiness together, their love and their future together. And then suddenly it was over? Something weird happened and it bugs me that the tabloids are not on it! Except for Radar – Radar did this story yesterday:

Sean Penn’s relationship with Charlize Theron may be on ice, but the actor doesn’t see why they can’t keep things sizzling in the sack. A source tells RadarOnline.com that Penn couldn’t resist doing a little drunk dialing after he attended U2’s special May 28 concert at the Roxy Nightclub in Los Angeles.

“During the after-party, Sean was very much acting like a single man on the prowl,” the source tells Radar.

Despite his wandering eye, Penn decided to try to rekindle his connection with his former fiancée.

“Sean had been partying with the band, and he decided to call Charlize very late — it was obvious he was feeling no pain,” says the source. “He wanted to go over to Charlize’s house, but she said no way…she refused to be a booty call!”

As Radar reported, Penn, 54, and 39-year-old Theron eased up on their relationship and went their own ways following their joint film project The Last Face in South Africa.

“Everyone knows how intense Sean is, and there is no exception on movie sets. Charlize felt he was overly critical of her at times. Separating work and personal became hard, and the lines were definitely blurred,” explained an insider, who revealed Penn moved out of Theron’s house several weeks ago.

[From Radar]

I’m not sure about the booty call (meh) but I’ll believe that the beginning of the end was when he directed her in The Last Face. Sometimes working together can be the kiss of (ham-faced, beef jerky) death. Still doesn’t explain why the end came so swiftly though.

Meanwhile, the new trailer for Charlize’s film Dark Places was just released. We’ve seen an international trailer before, but I like this one better. This is another adaptation of a Gillian Flynn book and Charlize fought hard to make it. Book-wise, I liked Gone Girl more than Dark Places, but I’ll probably see this.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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90 Responses to “Did Charlize Theron dump Sean Penn because he was ‘overly critical’ of her?”

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  1. Tiffany says:

    She is too old for the part in this film. Why she cast herself I do not understand.

    • FLORC says:

      It’s worth noting age isn’t a hurdle for some ladies in Hollywood. Not when they reach a certain fame level. They start taking roles that should go to younger actors. It goes both and all way I guess.

    • Size Does Matter says:

      Too old and waaaaay too tall. Doesn’t fit.

      • NeoCleo says:

        I felt the same about Emma Thompson in “Persuasion.” I love her but at 35 years old she was waaaayyyy too old to play a 19 year old girl. I just could not suspend my disbelief.

      • Bridget says:

        Emma Thompson wasn’t in Persuasion.

      • funcake says:

        She was in pride and prejudice with kate winslet. 🙂

      • Liberty says:

        It was Sense & Sensibility.

      • Xiufetish says:

        Sense and Sensibility

      • Lissanne says:

        Loved Emma Thompson in Sense and Sensibility. The book is not one of Austen’s best, as far as I’m concerned. To me, Thompson (and Winslet, Rickman, and Grant ) elevated the material.

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        Emma Thompson also adapted the screenplay for Sense and Sensibility and took the role of Eleanor Dashwood, aged 19 in the book, after they failed to find a suitable alternative actress for the role. It is one of the best adaptations of any of Jane’s books and her age did not ruin the movie at all. Only those who know the details of the book would even notice the alteration in her characters age. There was no disbelief to suspend in my opinion, in fact an older Eleanor fits the storyline just as well as a 19 year old one, especially given how sensible and mature the character is in contrast to her naive younger sister.

  2. Jan Harf says:

    Oh, yeah. That’s a way better trailer. I’m excited.

  3. FLORC says:

    Well, everyone knew what it took Charlize a bit longer to understand.
    I wonder if his side will come out with any passive aggressive comments about her. They’re better off apart for the sake of Jackson.

    • Kitten says:

      “I wonder if his side will come out with any passive aggressive comments about her.”

      Are we taking bets on this? Because it’s almost guaranteed right? Especially because so far, the split reeks of messiness. I’m not getting the vibe that it was all amicable, especially when it’s involving these two personalities.

      But as an unapologetic Charlize stan I’m pleased as hell at this news. The Ice Queen is gonna get her hands on someone sexy I hope. Her days of canned ham are in the past.

    • patricia says:

      Of course we will. He continues to talk trash about the mother of his children and wife for 20 years, why shouldn’t he do the same with Charlize? They both made premature comments about each other being the love of their lives and now they both look like idiots.

    • laura in LA says:

      Maybe someone here who has met her can tell us…

      Do you think Charlize’s “ice queen” persona was mostly during the time she was with Sean?

      So glad she came to her senses in any case and at least for the sake of her son.

    • Jib says:

      I am guessing he showed his temper, maybe got threatening. I can’t imagine that she, with her family history, would tolerate any aggression, which is why I couldn’t figure out what the heck she was doing with him in the first place???

  4. Micki says:

    Clash of Egos?

  5. Maya says:

    Two alpha personalities will never be able to be together for a long time.

    Both Sean & Charlize seems to want to be the number one in a relationship.

    Plus working together should always be avoided in my opinion. I can spend 24/7 with the same person – I need my space and a separate professional life.

    Charlize is one of the best actresses in Hollywood but I don’t think she was the right choice for this role.

  6. Kiki says:

    I knew this was doomed from the start. Thea’s all I have to say.

  7. Abbott says:

    Dark Places was the weakest out of the Gillian Flynn novels (IMO). The trailer makes the adult Libby Day… sympathetic? The casting is weird but I’ll still watch because FURIOSA.

    • Happy21 says:

      I loved Dark Places the best of her books. I think it was the story that got me. I could NOT stop reading. Gone Girl and Sharp Objects were really good but this one I couldn’t put down. I’m so excited to see what she comes out with next 🙂

      • Abbott says:

        It’s crazy that there isn’t much of a general consensus on those books; everyone has a different favorite. So interesting. I’ll definitely read whatever she puts out next.

    • patricia says:

      on a vaguely Penn-related note, apparently Gillian Flynn is writing the script of a sort-of-remake of Strangers on a Train: David Fincher will direct and Ben Affleck and Robin Wright should be the leads. Allegedly will be Strangers on a Plane, with Affleck playing a famous actor campaigning for an Oscar and trying to get rid of his wife (ugh…!) and Robin playing the female version of the Bruno character, a physo socialite.

    • Zigggy says:

      The only Gillian Flynn novel I read was Gone Girl, and I was so disappointed with the last half that I will never read another 🙁

      • Antonym says:

        I thought gone girl was the weakest of the three, and I was glad I read it last. I found sharp objects to be the best, in my opinion.

  8. dr mantis toboggan says:

    She dumped him coz thats what you do with turds. Don’t forget to press flush

  9. minx says:

    At least she got away from him, whatever her reason.
    I think he loves getting with beautiful women and then dominating and abusing them after they have fallen for him. It’s an ego trip for him– the ugly guy controlling these gorgeous women.

  10. db says:

    I just have this feeling Charlene discovered Sean holed up somewhere with 3 hos and a gas mask or something.

  11. ali.hanlon says:

    Too old and too tall.

    Reece would have been perfect.

    • RobN says:

      Witherspoon? They’re the same age.

    • Happy21 says:

      Charlize is less than a year older than Reese but yes she is pretty tall, pretty dominating because of it.

      Nonetheless I still am stoked to see it!

      • AskAnArtBuyer says:

        Funny thing that, about Charlize’s age. And I sincerely apologize if I sound envious (because of COS I totally am) I’m from South Africa and can remember when I was in Grade 9 watching Charlize win a local modeling contest. Charlize was in Grade 12 then. Making her approximately 4 years older a than me at the time. I turned 40 this year.

    • perplexed says:

      Why Reese? I don’t think anyone fits with him. Anytime a lady hooks up with him, I’m all “How?” and “Why?”

      • kai says:

        I think she meant the film. But Sean Penn + Reese Witherspoon would REALLY blow my mind 😀

  12. FingerBinger says:

    Filming has been over for months. She didn’t wake up and say He was horrible to me during filming. Obviously something happened.

    • jen2 says:

      Agree. Something is missing. Penn is not the type to go to Cannes to put on a nice face just to support her and her film. It is not his style and Theron does not seem to be the “let’s look happy for the cameras” type either, so something went down after Cannes. What, who knows, but enough to cause a break up. Both seem to want what they want when they want it and anything and anyone else’s opinion be dammed-and two people like that probably have a hard time compromising, which is what successful relationships take.

      And, I must also say, Radar seems to be putting out a lot of stuff lately and I still don’t trust anything they say. Just because they print it does not make it true.

    • patricia says:

      But she did admitted that filming was difficult. It could have been when she started to see the real Penn, and when the honeymoon and good behavior phase started to wash away. Also, I noticed that Penn was uncomfortable being her plus one at Cannes. I think he can’t handle not being the center of the attention.

      • lisa2 says:

        He seemed very happy to be with her at Cannes..and even all those Fashion appearances. He was smiling and there are pics of them all over the place after cuddling and having a good time. So I don’t think it is about him being upset by her getting attention. She is the one that had films to promote. I know Sean’s last film didn’t do well; but that was a film out of his zone. Nobody was looking to see Sean in a Tom Cruise film.

        But something must have happened. Everyone is saying she dumped him.. well maybe it was the other way around. It has been known to happen.

  13. Suzy from Ontario says:

    I think they are both intense people and likely to say whatever when they get mad and sometimes people get mad and cross a line and it’s not so easy to just forgive and forget. I suspect they got into a fight and things were said that there was no going back from. Better to find out now, especially with a young child involved. If it broke up this easily, then I doubt the marriage would’ve lasted for long.

    • laura in LA says:

      Both are Leos, too, just like Penn and Madonna, also Affleck and J.Lo…

      It’s two too much, clashing egos vying for attention (take all this w/a grain or boulder of salt, if you will).

  14. meme says:

    Charlize is completely miscast in this movie.

  15. ab says:

    much better trailer! the first one gave too much of the story away.

  16. Eleonor says:

    “Everyone knows how intense Sean is” is a fancy way to say: everyone knows how a-hole Sean Penn can be ?

    • manta says:

      It reminds me a piece Robin Wright did some years ago on Charlie Rose. I’m not sure wheteher it was after The Pledge or The Crossing Guard but she was asked if he was not too difficult as a director/husband.

      She phrased her answer like this: “well, I’d say he’s opinionated”. And I just took it the same as you, diplomatic way to say a-hole.

  17. patricia says:

    She’s absolutely miscast for this role. It bugs me that she, being the producer, took the leading role herself even when it’ s so obvious that she shouldn’t play it.
    So she announced the break up and the day after a trailer for the movie she produced and starred is coming? of course the timing is just a coincidence, this is just Hollywood.

    As for the reasons is not that hard to try to think a least a zillion of them. Starting from the fact that Penn was playing the part of the reformed loving man, that we all know he’s never been. After 30 years in the spotlight sometimes even flaunting his arrogance and rage, it’s difficult that he’d change at his age. I’ve always had the feeling that this relationship started as bitter response from Penn to his ex wife getting engaged. If you think back it all started suddenly, and as well suddenly ended. That’s my guess: that Penn is still bitter from that divorce. All that tacky PDA coming from him was odd. Lainey always pointed it every time there was an event, or pap pics of them, all over each other right in front of the paps. Coming from Penn, it looked phony.

    • Chrissy says:

      I agree Patricia. I bet Robin is snickering to herself just about now. Living well is always the best revenge. I wish her and Ben the best. Charlize will be fine. Sean? Who cares…pfffttt.

      • FingerBinger says:

        Robin called off her engagement and then got back together with Foster. I don’t know that she’s snickering.

    • Cindy says:

      Couldn’t agree more about Sean using this relationship as a way to get back at Robin. All the PDA, even the fact that Robin and Charlize look alike as far as being tall, blonde with short hair. How does this little, shriveled tantrum throwing guy get these beautiful women?

      • patricia says:

        When he got together with Robin he had some sort of charm. I can understand why extremely beautiful women with strong personalities won’t go after a nice and handsome man: they need the challenge of a difficult man. But after he and Robin divorced, he kind of lost that charm and started to look plain ugly, like his lifestyle started to show on his face. Ugly inside and outside. So Robin got the best version of Penn, but Charlize just got an old shoe looking angry little man.

      • Dee Kay says:

        He got with Robin Wright, Charlize Theron, AND ScarJo AND Madonna. That guy may be a supertroll a-hole but he has got GAME of some kind. I don’t get it.

      • Tara says:

        When he got with Robin it was just after the Madonna insanity and abuse charges. What was she thinking? People act like they are team Robin, but Charlize is the smart one to get away from him now before marriage while Robin kept getting back with him like a fool.

  18. cosmo says:

    His anger issues finally exploded in front of her. Probably scared her.

    • Chrissy says:

      I just hope Jackson wasn’t on the receiving end of Sean’s wrath.

      • AtlLady says:

        Any time there were pictures of Sean interacting with Jackson, Jackson always had a leery expression on his face. Kids can sense things that adults refuse to see. I never could figure out why she started dating Penn with her own history of her parents and domestic violence that escalated to murder. Maybe Sean got rid of his guns to make sure Charlene wouldn’t shoot him, too. I don’t care about Charlene but I’m glad Jackson is out of that relationship. He is a cute little guy.

  19. Elfie says:

    I think she finally saw his rage and how he expresses it. Woman beaters always revert to violence once they’re comfortable in their new relationship.

  20. prism_go says:

    I bet it was his temper/tantrums. I have a hunch he showed it near/around her son and she bolted because there is no way she is gonna stick around with her son when he can fly off the handle. Probably in Cannes when they had a screaming match and she stayed in the nanny’s hotel room.

    • kai says:

      woah, where did you read this story?

    • laura in LA says:

      And since US Weekly is apparently a reliable source now…

      They’re reporting that Charlize “iced out” Sean at Cannes, stopped answering phonecalls from him, before the actual split.

      So there’s that.

  21. Guesto says:

    I don’t care why it’s over, just glad it is.

  22. Jen says:

    I was stunned at this coupling from the get-go. That last picture shows two people very bored with each other. And quite honestly, every relationship he’s ever had has gone up in flames. She’s wayyyyy better off w/o him. I’d be interested to hear how his sons treat their girlfriends considering his influence and crappy chauvinistic behavior.

  23. manta says:

    Since they were all loved up in Vienna for the Life ball which took place after Cannes, whatever happened was probably after their return to the US…

  24. Catelina says:

    Filming probably put a strain on the relationship, but it’s not like they just concluded filming. Something else happened that caused the split

  25. serena says:

    Good, finally. She can do SO much better than ham-face.

    • Liberty says:

      I think she can do way better. But, call me crazy, I don’t know that I believe that they broke up at all.

      Good move for movie PR, though.

  26. perplexed says:

    Maybe he cheated…

  27. DavidBowie says:

    He makes my skin crawl.

  28. Vampi says:

    I J’adore this!

  29. LA Juice says:

    I assume “overly critical” is a euphemism for “bitchslapped the shit out of her”.

  30. Tara says:

    The movie was wrapped last year. I think Sean did something very wrong before they left Europe. There are rumors that security had to be called at a hotel and Charlize ended up sleeping in her nanny’s room. I think Sean went over the line in one of their fights and Charlize was not going to put up with that with her small child around, so she said adios. You have to respect that. She is no Robin Wright. She’s not going to put up with him mistreating her for so long.

    Is Sean Penn not the biggest idiot of all time? He couldn’t make it work with Robin Wright? Now he couldn’t make it work with Charlize flicking Theron? He must want to be miserable.

    • Coconut says:

      My hunch is that men like Sean, and my ex-husband, don’t realize the problem is *them*.

  31. Sandra says:

    I will not be seeing this movie.

  32. Neonscream says:

    I took a really long time to get out of a dying relationship once and it made me cut the cord a lot sooner ever since. I listen to my gut more than my sentimentality. Charlie was with her last partner for a long time maybe she’s the same. When the sniffs the wind changing she gets out rather than wait until it becomes much harder to seperate?

  33. Jeffer says:

    That movie looks terrible. She is her dull wooden self as usual.

  34. Jessica says:

    I’m going against the grain to say I love Sean Penn. I wish he’d get back together with Madonna. I sense they’re perfect for one another, for better and for worse.

    • Tara says:

      You must hate Madonna. No true fan would want her with a man who beat her with a bat. just because their relationship was famous doesn’t mean it is meant to be. Sean said he never had a real conversation with her during their marriage. Doesn’t sound like some great love to me.

      • Jessica says:

        I actually didn’t know those two “facts” but I’m talking about where they are both now in their lives. They are both surely more enlightened than they were 30 years ago. (i.e. their charity work together in Haiti recently).

  35. LaurieH says:

    Sorry, but Sean Penn is overly critical and overly judgmental about everyone and everything. He has a huge ego, an ideology carved in stone and anyone who disagrees with anything he thinks or says is subject to his invective. I do not like him. I never liked him. Is he a good actor? Yes. I watched him last night in The Interpretor. He is a good actor. That’s where it should begin and end, but Penn can’t help himself. For this reason, he will never enjoy a meaningful relationship because he does not compromise.

  36. Leesa says:

    Pictured someone very different to play that role in Dark Places. It’s annoying how Hollywood will change a perfectly good book and character description just to hire a “name”.

    I always thought Sean got with Charlize to make Robin jealous. Robin had been trying to get The Last Face made for years and he goes and does it with someone who was friends with them both before they divorced. They’re both awful.

  37. Noone says:

    He is an abusive misogynist and is incapable of being happy!

  38. therese says:

    I felt that this was an arrangement from the start. why not use the media for one’s own purposes. Sean’s image needed whitewashing, and Charlize needs people to think she is straight. It’s done it’s work, and no harm done.