Charlize Theron Cracked Two Teeth While Filming ‘Atomic Blonde’

Atomic Blonde
Courtesy of Jonathan Prime/Focus Features

To play a lethal spy in the upcoming tentpole “Atomic Blonde,” Charlize Theron really had to suffer for her craft. “It was so hard. Are you kidding me?” Theron confessed at a Q&A following the film’s premiere on Sunday night at SXSW. She’d call up the director, David Leitch, with her extreme doubts after she spent her first two weeks of training only fine-tuning a fight stance. “I said, ‘This is never going to work!’ I look like Big Bird,” Theron recalled. “I’m cupping small titties, and I don’t know what I’m doing.”

But she got the hang of it, thanks to her team of eight trainers and months of gym time. “Atomic Blonde” is a throwback of sorts — an action thriller set in 1989 Berlin that would make James Bond proud, with shades of “Alias” meets “The Bourne Identity.” Judging from the hoots and applause at SXSW — usually a reliable barometer of box office success — the movie is poised to be a massive summer hit for Focus Features when it opens on July 28.


Atomic Blonde

SXSW Film Review: ‘Atomic Blonde’

Theron spent five years developing the project, based on the British graphic novel “The Coldest City.” Her character is the kind usually portrayed onscreen by men — or Angelina Jolie. Theron eventually learned how to do many of her own stunts. “I was like, ‘We’re going to pretend that right?’” Theron said she asked her director. “David was like, ‘No you’re actually going to throw big dudes.’ Alright, let’s throw some big dudes.”

She’d run into Keanu Reeves, who was training at the same gym for “John Wick 2.” “We would spar with each other and s— like that,” Theron added. (When a member of the audience asked if there could be a crossover movie, Leitch, who directed both, responded gamily: “‘Atomic Wick’? Yes.”)

There were some hazards to this line of work. “My teeth are in bad shape,” Theron said. “I’m actually still undergoing surgery. It’s really crazy. When I trained, I cracked two teeth in the back of my mouth, clenching while fighting, because apparently my arm strength wasn’t strong enough.” She had to complete an operation before the shoot started. “And I’m still f—ing dealing with it,” she sighed.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety