Charlize Theron ‘was a wake-and-baker for most of my life’ but then she stopped

Premiere Of Focus Features' "Atomic Blonde"

My mother reads this site quite often, so I’d like to ask her nicely to not read this post! Turn away, mom.

Charlize Theron used to be a heavy pot-smoker. That revelation isn’t something particularly shocking – in her early days as an actress, I remember quite a few red carpets where it seemed like she was pleasantly high and just maintaining. That’s not an insult – she was never a mess, to be clear. But she definitely used to have the heavy lids and dulled expression of a recreational pot smoker. Charlize says she’s not like that anymore, and one day it just changed for her.

Charlize Theron has no problem admitting that she used to be a stoner. In an exclusive junket interview with E! News, we caught up with the 42-year-old actress and her Gringo co-star, David Oyelowo, who told us all about her history with weed.

“I was a wake-and-baker for most of my life,” she said of her past.

“Do you remember your first time?” E!’s Sibley Scoles asked.

“Yeah, I was older. I didn’t really mess around with anything until I was much older,” Theron said. “But I really appreciated marijuana way more than alcohol or anything else. My chemistry was really good with it when I was younger and then it just changed one day. Like, in my early thirties I just became boring on it and I would just stand in front of my fridge, so that’s no good.”

“That’s the effect it had on you?” Oyelowo asked.

“Yeah, it changed! It totally changed, so I stopped.” And while Theron has taken a break from pot, she isn’t opposed to trying it again to help with her sleep. “I’m open to retrying it again because now there’s all these different strains and you can be specific with it,” she said. “And I’m actually really interested because I have really bad insomnia, and I’d much rather get off sleeping pills and figure out a strain that helps me sleep better. So when I have a moment, I’m actually doing that with my mom. My mom has really bad sleep too.”

[From E! News]

Here’s why I didn’t want my mom to read this: something similar happened to me around my 21st birthday. Before then, I could wake-and-bake and enjoy myself and just chill out and everything was groovy. But then around my 21st birthday, it really was like my chemistry just changed and pot made me so paranoid and anxious, so I stopped. I suspect that, like Charlize, if I experimented with the new strains and new marijuana technology, I would probably enjoy it again at my current age though. Hm…

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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53 Responses to “Charlize Theron ‘was a wake-and-baker for most of my life’ but then she stopped”

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  1. Annaloo. says:

    Charlize… I couldn’t love you more

  2. WMGDtoo says:

    wonder if she will be called a drug addict. I see that with other celebrities.

    • citney says:

      She has said she has tried all kinds of drugs. AJ said she tried all kinds of drugs in her early twenties and then stopped before she became a Mother to Maddox, yet is still called a “drug addict” 17 years later.

      CT has admitted she’s done drugs for years and is never called a drug addict. Guess it depends on who your PR agent is, AJ doesn’t have a PR agent.

  3. Here or There says:

    Same here. Early 20s, no problem. Now my mind gets on a hamster wheel and won’t shut off.

    • TwoPac says:

      i guess we can ALL agree, that ONE TIME we got mentally ill off weed , so NEVER AGAIN. (I had an episode where I thought I had to pee all night, it was super creepy). I am actually happy I stopped all substance completely, because it’s so expensive and hangovers aren’t something to actually pay money for! I don’t even take advil or -anything- for pain because our bodies are so much more resilient than we are led to believe. Maybe I’m the CB buzzkill, but won’t be trying any strains of elegant $$ marijuana, no thanks. I do yoga, exercise, peace out, neural feedback -all for he game of SLEEP.

  4. FLORC says:

    Same way. Somewhere around 20 or 21 I started getting paranoid. Up until then I was a constant smoker. I could outsmoke lots with no cough. Then even with changing blends it felt like more harm than good.

  5. Olenna says:

    “I would just stand in front of my fridge”, LMAO! Yep, it was time to move on.

    • Bread and Circuses says:

      Yes, that was such a hilarious comment. 😀 Really paints a picture of why she decided this was not so cool anymore.

  6. Nina says:

    I just get really grouchy. Firstly, I get irritated that I can’t STOP being high if I want to (control freak haha). Secondly, I get annoyed with the people around me if they are the type of stoners to get giggly and silly. I was with a friend who was like ‘Dude! Dude, duuuuuude…I have the BEST idea!’ And then told me the dumbest idea in the history of ever. I was like ‘……………I am going to bed’ because I just couldn’t with the stupidity.

    I am the worst stoned person. 🙁

  7. JA says:

    I was working an internship, a part time job and finishing my final year in college when I was 21 so never had time to wake n bake when I was young. I actually never really smoked and I don’t think I’m missing much. No offense but the people I’ve interacted with who smoke out recreationally and are in their 30s are also the ones who don’t have a clue about life or self awareness. I know it’s not the case for everyone but yea. My brother, a Hispanic, was arrested and served time for possessing and selling pot. It scared the crap out of him and our whole family so that probably affects my feelings towards the “feel good” drug. Nice that a rich white woman can talk about it so freely #privileged

    • Frizzy and frazzled says:

      I agree about the privelege — my college boyfriend was a wake n’ baker, or actually any time of the day baker and he was arrested on a marijuana charge and the family lawyer got a suspended sentence or something, I can’t remember. He was white and just kind of shrugged and that was it.

      It was college so I wasn’t really looking for a life long mate or anything and my boyfriend was fun but he wasn’t really “present”, you’re just not 100% there if you’re high, which got to be a drag. It’s a pleasant kind of numb, which I can understand given Charlize Theron’s past it’s a form of self medication for people. I used it recreationally for a little and grew out of it. I don’t think you missed much.

      • Domino says:

        Yeah I think there is a very fine line between smoking for fun and smoking to manage serious anxiety.

        My friend’s dad was always very non judgmental about drugs and so my friend started smoking at 11/12. As an adult he now smokes every day and I think if he didn’t he might actually have trouble dealing with emotional discord.

    • Lady Medusa says:

      “No offense but the people I’ve interacted with who smoke out recreationally and are in their 30s are also the ones who don’t have a clue about life or self awareness.”

      I know a bunch of recreational smokers in their 30s and 40s and even 50s (most of my friends and quite a few acquaintances), and I’ve found that they tend to be chill, nonjudgmental, grounded people who don’t take themselves too seriously and are often creative in some way. Sure, there are the occasional a-holes. But I’ve found them to be in the minority.

  8. sunnydeereynolds says:

    I can’t wait to see this movie. The trailer looks hilarious.

  9. Trixie says:

    I don’t like pot. Never have. But it does help with nausea like a miracle drug.

  10. ruouk says:

    I for sure have different reactions depending on how I use it: I prefer smoking and vaping via pen. It’s easier to control ‘how high’ i get.

    I do not really like edibles, the dosing has been too tricky for me. Either they are too strong and I panic or they do nothing and feel like a waste. Same with dabbing.

  11. Igotbiglipsandicannotlie says:

    I can relate to Charlize. I would wake and bake in high school, smoke again before my after school job. School went a little down hill b/c of it but I always got glowing reviews and high raises at work. As I got older I couldn’t do it anymore. Now I’m 36 and I smoke in the evening to relax. Plus it’s the only thing that helps me go to sleep easily with absolutely no groggy feeling the next morning. I wake up so well-rested! I am a huge marijuana advocate.

  12. Her Higness says:

    any links to her stoner interviews lol!?

  13. JeanGray says:

    Never liked the effect pot had on me. And I tried different types. At best I was just a blob on it, sitting around like a zombie, laughing at the dumbest shit and eating. Or at worst, paranoid.
    Wasn’t really ever my thing. Especially since I was a bit shy and reserved to begin with, I needed something to loosen me up more and help me be more social. Alcohol was that potion for me. lol Unless I was upset. Then I’d be an angry or messy drunk. Since my late 30’s I don’t even really drink anymore either. Just a glass or two of wine or that rare occasion where I go out to a lounge, then I might do liquor.

  14. Nicegirl says:

    I appreciate pot, rn I’m in treatment for a metastatic cancer. I am not a fan of recreational use for those underage though, I’m a square I guess. However, I do think it may be safer than recreational alcohol use- I am interested in learning more.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I am sorry for your diagnosis but hope you have a full and swift recovery. I hear *ahem* that it can help with pain and anxiety.

  15. Darla says:

    I went through a period of about ten years where I smoked a lot. And I smoked hash too, which I loved. But now I’m on Paxil for anger and anxiety (I think it’s a mix of menopause, and I mean this completely serious, Trump) and I don’t like to mix. I do love my Oxy, but I have to be very careful with that it’s just too addictive. But I will never ever get a script for a painkiller and not finish the entire thing, even when I no longer need it. In fact, when I no longer need it is when it’s the best.

  16. mismom says:

    I’m so naive. I thought the headline meant that she got up in the morning and baked something good in her kitchen like scones! 🙂

  17. Lizzie says:

    pot has always really agreed with me. i get a really pleasant buzz and in social situations it makes me a little more outgoing and thoughtful. that has become even more true with age. being able to choose specific strains to seek out the “type” of high i enjoy might have something to do with it. i am so happy with how laws and changing, not only because will enjoy legally smoking but also because it is so tragic the number of people who are incarcerated for something so innocuous.

    i hate being drunk. it feels TERRIBLE to me and i get bad hangovers from even one glass of wine.

    • Wowza says:

      @Lizzie — same!

      I’ll have 1 glass of wine at a nice dinner and my head will be throbbing by dessert. It just doesn’t agree with me. And when I’m out with friends and think “f*** it, I’ll have a few drinks”, forgetting how many mornings after I’ve been like “seriously, never do that again”, the result is 2-day hangovers. Every time. My body just does not process alcohol well. It’s not worth it (though I wish it wasn’t that way, bc I used to have fun with alcohol before I realized how bad the crash is for me).

      But weed suits me. I feel present and in-touch with a certain side of myself. I wish I had a better grasp on the strains, but some of them really suit going out and being social. When I smoke with my boyfriend, who doesn’t smoke, he loves it because I am very loving, open and just happy and chatty.

  18. mannori says:

    it was never *just* pot for Charlize.I’ve been hearing for ages that she loves the white powder. one of the reasons she easily bonded with another famous cokehead: Penn.

  19. Patricia says:

    Pot agrees with me well. When I smoke I do yoga, dance, get creative, or get organizational. I often smoke when I have to do a bunch of chores. I spoke with my husband in the evening. We are responsible parents with a good income and a nice social life. So not everyone who smokes is like a zombie lol.
    Alcohol… for me that’s so much more rough. Even a few nights a months of drinking makes me bloated and cranky and interferes with my sleep and mood. For me pot is such a gentle vice.

    • Domino says:

      I find weed rougher on me than alcohol! I find it interesting how different drugs affect us all differently.

  20. Lensblury says:

    I never wake-and-bake, but I do enjoy smoking cbd and the occasional ‘real’ joint. This came as a big surprise, because after having tried it a few times during my late teenage years, it suddenly got really bad for me. It made me throw up on three consecutive occasions, so I stopped. I was not in a good place mentally, and I thanked my body for telling me it couldn’t handle it anymore. 15 years later (during which I only tried it 3-4 times where I still didn’t like it), I’m finally stable enough to thoroughly enjoy it, and it has helped me work through some problems I usually masked with alcohol. I like it. It also helps me with my really bad period cramps. Cbd tea is fantastic for that as well. Yay!

  21. NeoCleo says:

    I’ve been using it for sleep and pain for years. If I don’t use it, I don’t miss it. Beats the heck out of all the addictive pharmaceuticals out there.

    • Harryg says:

      I would like to try this (for sleep and muscle relaxation) but I don’t like to smoke. Maybe I could eat it?

      • Lensblury says:

        You could also drink tea. I have really come to appreciate it over the past half year. Prepared with a little bit of any relatively heat-resistant oil/fat that tastes good to you, it has marvellous effects. I used to be a cannabis hater, but I have come to admit that it works and it feels nice (to me), especially once you have found a way to use it properly. As I mentioned, just the legal cbd (might be called medical marihuana – where I live you can just buy it in some stores without prescription) works well for me already, so I don’t actually need anything else. My boyfriend prepares cbd tea for me when I’m on my period, and he usually drinks a cup or two as well, and he loves it as well.

      • Harryg says:

        Thanks Lensblury! Will try that.

  22. elle says:

    I would like a costume version of that necklace.

    • Rachel says:

      funny I was thinking I would like her outfit without the necklace… great necklace, just IMHO too much going on with the rest of the outfit…

  23. Jenn says:

    Ten or more years ago the gossip blogs published a screamingly-funny photo of Charlize smoking, outdoors and in the sunshine, from a bong made out of an apple

  24. Rachel says:

    To the writer:
    I had the exact same experience! I live in Denver now, and when it became legal a few years back, I had the same thought as you (maybe it will be different now, with all the new strains, etc): Fast forward to my going to a recreational pot store, a small handful of times when my kiddo was with her dad for his parenting time, and I had the evening alone to experiment. Big mistake. Well, nothing bad happened, minus the same paranoia, panic attack feeling that I had stopped smoking for in the first place, around age 19.
    (I am in my late 30s now)
    Anyway, I will never, ever, EVER put that stuff in my body again. TERRIBLE with my chemistry, though it was not always, strangely.
    PS: It actually took waaay less to get to that point as well (like, 1-2 hits off a joint) because the stuff is SO strong now. YUCK, hope you fare better than I did if you do try it out. Good luck.

    • Lensblury says:

      Yes… a lot has changed. It has become so much more potent and effective, which I really don’t like. If I ever try random ‘strange’ weed, I’m sensitive and I go with my gut feeling. On rare occasions, and with people I don’t know too well, I sometimes only have to look at a joint making the round, and the hair on my neck will stand up. Then I know it’s not for me (I tested myself on that, and my gut feeling was usually right, so I stopped trying). I’m seriously no always-has-been advocate, I have just about come to terms with how well cbd works for me, and I had to learn to admit this to my boyfriend with whom I used to fight about it. But we can agree on cbd, and it’s nice – for us. It comes in different tastes, has almost no thc and won’t give me any paranoia, but my body relaxes, which is cool sometimes.

  25. Kim says:

    Many of us use marijuana for various things like insomnia, anxiety, depression, etc. The more that we have examples of professional, responsible people who are honest about their use, the more we will see the tide of public opinion turn for the better.

  26. Alex says:

    I am 43 and just started smoking three years ago…and I wake and bake, best thing in the world

  27. raincoaster says:

    Remember, too, that modern pot is very different from the stuff you could get 20 years ago. Things are much more concentrated, and there’s a wider range available. It could be that your body has changed, or it could be that the pot has changed.

    I did some PR work for a very interesting business, It’s a consultation company and also retailer, and what she does is analyze your unique situation and suggest what you should use and exactly how. If you’re in Vancouver, she’ll supervise your usage in person if you want. If I were newly diagnosed with something pot could help, I’d definitely call her. When I was diagnosed in the 90s, the nurses and doctors recommended pot and one of the nurses had a side business selling it as a complementary therapy.

  28. Mee says:

    Funny she left out how she was a serious cocaine addict for years. A friend of a friend knew her personal dealer.