Charlize Theron on Going Bisexual For ‘Atomic Blonde’: ‘I Just Loved It’

Atomic Blonde Charlize Theron

To make “Atomic Blonde,” Charlize Theron tried to break the rules for a female-led action movie. Her British super agent Lorraine bruises badly — which is a taboo when it comes to women in high-octane blockbusters — and she doesn’t fall for her horn-dog male colleague (played by James McAvoy).


Charlize Theron Atomic Blonde Variety Cover Story

How Charlize Theron Got Ripped, Bruised (and Naked!) for ‘Atomic Blonde’

Instead, she has sex with another female spy (Sofia Boutella), without stopping to explain her bisexuality. “I just loved it,” Theron tells Variety in this week’s cover story. “For so many reasons: My frustration of how that community is represented in cinema, or lack thereof. And also, it made perfect sense. It just suited her. It just felt there was a way through that relationship and the fact that it was a same-sex relationship to show a woman not having to fall in love, which is one of those female tropes. ‘It’s a woman; she better fall in love — otherwise, she’s a whore!’”

Theron approved the idea as soon as it was pitched to her by screenwriter Kurt Johnstad. “It’s one of my most proudest parts of the development, when we came up with that,” says Theron who produced “Atomic Blonde” through her company Denver & Delilah Productions. “And then finding Sofia, that was a slam dunk. There’s something about her that’s so broken and vulnerable. It works.”


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And the sex scenes are right out of the 007 playbook, although Theron rolls her eyes at the comparison. “James Bond doesn’t have such hot you-know-what,” she says. “I loved that we didn’t hide under the sheets.”

She takes a beat. “Now I’m generalizing. I haven’t seen a lot of the Bond movies lately. I’m sure there’s a lot of hot sex in it.”

For more from this week’s cover story, click here.

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  1. Ryan Izay says:

    First of all, let’s not pretend that the decision to add a lesbian sex scene to the source material was an attempt to be PC when it is clearly the exploitation of a male fantasy that has nothing to do with accurate LGTB representation. Second, where does Theron get off being annoyed by a comparison to one of the longest running franchises in film history and most successful spy films, especially when she admits to an astounding ignorance on the film series? I’ve heard stories from friends and colleagues of her arrogance on set and insistence on always having a mirror nearby to narcistically look at herself, while often coming to work without having prepared or memorize lines. No wonder Tom Hardy had a problem working with her. This is like when she complained that beautiful people have it hardest in Hollywood. She speaks with complete ignorance anytime doing press and it always makes me hesitate to spend money on a ticket for one of her films.

  2. “ATOMIC BLONDE” does not have a 55 year-old franchise to protect nor a worldwide audience (yet) to account for. If big box office is at stake, the libertine nature of a movie becomes increasingly conservative about sex. Violence, on the other hand–that’s another story altogether.

    • Rosanna Marie says:

      Ryan, you are absolutely correct in saying this caters primarily to the male fantasy under the guise of being politically correct…Even men who cannot tolerate homosexuality between other males have long had a hypocritical allowance for lesbianism…that is, if they’re beautiful lesbians. Furthermore there’s some insinuation here that a straight woman is incapable of having recreational sex with male partners ala James Bond without falling in love. That’s not very modern or refreshing..
      I’m beginning to think Charlize Theron mouths the platitudes of what she thinks she should say and think.
      If I’m going for mindless action with tough women I will likely find another venue…This doesn’t seem to be a film for me.

  3. Ugonna Wosu says:

    Can’t wait to see this!

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