Charlize Theron: Women ‘have to work so much harder to come back from a failure’


Charlize Theron is one of the cover girls for Elle Magazine’s Women In Hollywood issue. Elle did multiple covers, and I was happy to see that Charlize got one of them for her role as a producer. The first film Charlize ever got a producer credit on was Monster, which earned her an Oscar. She’s produced films like Atomic Blonde, Dark Places and Tully. She’s also gotten into producing for television too. Not enough ink has been devoted to her producing skills. She’s promoting A Private War, which she isn’t even in – she produced the film starring Rosamund Pike, based on the true story of war journalist Marie Colvin. This is Charlize’s goal: to make more films with women, and tell more stories about women. You can see her full cover package here. Some highlights:

On not being surprised by the Harvey Weinstein allegations: “When I look back and think about my experience with him, how I felt about him—we don’t wanna just go by assumption—but there were definite things. It’s made me look at trusting [my] instincts better. This is a moment for all of us to re-educate ourselves. Not just men, but women, too.”

Women’s stories: “You cannot tell the universal, diverse stories of this earth that we live on without women and their participation. You just can’t do it—it’s impossible.”

On enlisting more champions for change: “Support from both sexes is very important right now. I don’t want to undermine the support that we’ve been getting from men in this fight, because we can’t do this alone. The great thing is that we don’t have to. There are guys out there who are just as desperate for change to come. I’m inviting anybody on this boat. You wanna join this fight? You’re so welcome. Come with us.”

On Hollywood’s double standard for box-office flops: “[Women] have to work so much harder to come back from a failure. It’s not so dependent on the star when it’s a male. It’s more, ‘Well, maybe the movie didn’t work.’ With females, it’s like, ‘The movie didn’t work because of her.’ That needs to change. Financiers are more willing to finance a male star. I just wonder what beautiful storytelling we have missed out on because [people] were too scared to take a chance on a woman.”

On raising daughters: “I look at my two beautiful girls, and I have the worries that every other mother has. I want them to be safe and able to live their full potential. Whenever that feels threatened, I go a little psycho. I will kill for them. That’s gonna be used as evidence one day in court!”

[From Elle]

She’s completely right about how box-office flops are discussed and analyzed after the fact – a man stars in a terrible movie which loses money, and he still gets a stack of scripts every week, and he’s given a million more chances to prove that he can carry a film. If a woman stars in a terrible movie which loses money, she’s probably never going to be offered a lead role ever again.

As for Charlize’s reference to “my two beautiful girls”… that was honestly the first thing that caught my eye when I read through these quotes, and I debated how to even cover this subject, since it involves children who never asked for or deserved public speculation. Charlize adopted her two children, August and Jackson. Jackson was adopted first, in 2012, and August was adopted in 2015. They’re both still little kids, under the age of eight. There has been some low-key speculation on various sites and blogs about Jackson, who always seemed to prefer to wear dresses and pink everything. I think Charlize speaking about “my two beautiful girls” is just her way of confirming publicly that Jackson identifies as a girl and that she’s raising Jackson as her daughter. It’s a stealthy way to confirm what had been just a vague rumor, and it doesn’t seem like many people have even picked up on it.


Photos courtesy of Zoey Grossman for Elle Magazine, photos sent from promotional Elle Magazine email.

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16 Responses to “Charlize Theron: Women ‘have to work so much harder to come back from a failure’”

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  1. Caitlin Bruce says:

    Wow I didn’t realise that about her kids. Shows you how much attention I pay. I heard it about Shiloh but not Jackson.

    • Missy says:

      There are pictures of Jackson with long braids, and wearing pink sparkly clothes, and dressing as Elsa for Halloween, it’s not proof that he identifies as a girl but it seems that way. Charlize strikes me as a wonderful mother, her children are very lucky.

  2. Kat says:

    I had no idea about the gender or any information at all about her children. So when she said “my beautiful daughters” I just figured she was using Jackson as a female name. You said yourself these children are very young and not in the public eye. So why would you make speculations about the gender of one of them? If their mother brought it up that would be different, now you are just making assumptions and putting out uniformed chatter about a child.

    • Missy says:

      charlize has been seen many times with Jackson and talked a lot about Jackson in interviews before and called him son and talked about raising a black son. It’s only recently she hasn’t spoke much about it. Maybe you should try google before telling people they are putting out “uninformed chatter”.

      • Kat says:

        She said herself no one picked up on the line about her daughters and the gossip about Jackson is low key. And I’m not going to creep and google children.

  3. ab says:

    I like charlize. she has always come across as a pretty boss bitch. lol. I haven’t actually seen much of her work, but it’s great that she is producing.

    my thought when I read “my two beautiful girls” was that I had missed some news about her adopting again! but I do remember seeing photos of jackson dressed as a princess. kudos to charlize for allowing him freedom to explore and discover.

    • Becks1 says:

      Yeah, I’m a fan of hers as well. I also think she does interesting work, in that – if I hear that she is in a movie, I am automatically more interested in the movie, because I think she picks interesting roles. Not all of them are Monster in terms of being Oscar-caliber, and that’s okay.

  4. manta says:

    Her comment about women having it much harder instantly brought Karyn Kusama to my mind instead of actresses.
    Here a woman who wrote and directed a brilliant film about a powerful female character (Girlfight), earned accolades and got offered a big project. I’ve always thought she never recovered (meaning been given other opportunities) from the failure of Aeon Flux.
    Certainly not the way a male director would have. I’m sure Theron remembers it too.

  5. Lala11_7 says:

    Lawd…this woman…ALWAYS makes me happy…

    On screen…and off…

    One of my good friends has a little boy, who has ALWAYS identified as a girl…since the age of 3…he is now 9…and she is just going with it…she said that if she doesn’t…she will lose her mind…her soul…and her child…

    And to THAT…I say…AMEN!!!!!

  6. Sonia says:

    The line about Jackson is going to drive some people insane. There’s a contingent of black folk who think she’s like literally the devil for adopting black children and letting them live how they want.

  7. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Especially if you’re tall and gorgeous.

  8. JeanGrey says:

    I love Charlize, but I can already hear the backlash. I’m not even gonna touch it.

  9. CocoNoir says:

    Jackson is blessed to have a mother who accepts them as she identify themselves. Good on Charlize for embracing her child’s self identity. It’s really none of our business. I assume though that they’ve both had professional intervention and guidance. The child isn’t growing up in a shed or the woods. As I understand it a gender conflicted child needs a lot of counselling first and is not medicated until after adolescence. There is a lot of debate in the medical community but let’s let the professionals and the patients as well as their appropriate adults get on with it.

  10. Meg says:

    what I love is how respectful Charlize is being considering how young her daughter is to respect her feelings of identifying as a girl. so many parents even open minded ones might say, you’re a kid you don’t know who you are yet so sure dress how you like but i’m not calling you a girl or my daughter. when the truth is you don’t need experience, knowledge of life, etc. for your feelings to be real. when a kid feels uncomfortable meeting someone new and a parent insist, ‘give them a hug’ no, your kid feels uncomfortable. there are ways to respectfully say hi without a hug if you’re not comfortable with that. otherwise it teaches kids to not respect their feelings. this says so much about Charlize who at times can come across as a bit icy in interviews and gets mad when certain people she feels are beneath her say ‘hi’ LOL. had to throw that in :)