×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Charlize Theron Cracked Two Teeth While Filming ‘Atomic Blonde’

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.

Popular on Variety

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.

More Film

  • The Irishman

    'The Irishman' Nabs 17.1 Million U.S. Viewers on Netflix in First Five Days, per Nielsen

    Martin Scorsese’s mafia saga “The Irishman” was watched by 17.1 million unique Netflix viewers in the U.S. in the first five days of its streaming release, according to Nielsen estimates. By comparison, Sandra Bullock-starrer “Bird Box” scored nearly 26 million U.S. viewers in its first seven days of availability (Dec. 21-27, 2018) on Netflix, according [...]

  • De-aging Robert De Niro For Scorsese's

    'The Irishman': A Closer Look at the De-Aging of De Niro in Scorsese's Mob Epic

    Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” hits Netflix today and it stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. De Niro plays Frank Sheeran, a truck driver who meets Russell Bufalino (Pesci). Sanning several decades, the film follows Sheeran as he gets involved in the greatest unsolved mob mystery – the disappearance of union boss Jimmy [...]

  • David Tennant'Good Omens' TV show premiere,

    Intl. TV Newswire: HBO in Denmark, Tennant in a Balloon, Eccho Rights in Love

    In this week’s jam-packed International TV Newswire, Variety catches you up on HBO’s first Danish original series “Kamikaze,” the first deal between ViacomCBS-owned broadcasters since the merger, David Tennant’s upcoming 80-day global circumnavigation, an un-scripted deal between Japan’s Nippon TV and the U.K.’s The Story Lab. Also on the mix: Eccho Rights’ newest global pickup from Sweden, [...]

  • Sin Señas Particulares

    Alpha Violet Acquires Fernanda Valadez’s Sundance-Selected ‘Identifying Features’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES  — Paris-based Alpha Violet  has acquired international rights to Fernanda Valadez’s feature debut, “Identifying Features,” which world premieres in World Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Announced this week, the Sundance selection comes on top of a Films in Progress Prize at this September’s San Sebastian Festival. Studying at Mexico’s Centro [...]

  • Days of Christmas

    Pau Freixas on Netflix Spanish Miniseries ‘Days of Christmas’

    BARCELONA – A Netflix original produced by Spain’s Filmax, “Days of Christmas” marks the new series of Pau Freixas, one of the highest-profile creators on Spain’s vibrant drama series scene. A three-part miniseries, “Days” will be made available worldwide by Netflix on Dec. 6. The story takes place over three different Christmas days, the first [...]

  • Writers-Room-Panel

    Ventana Sur: Argentine Directors on Benefit of Writers’ Room (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Ventana Sur hosted two of the country’s leading screenwriters to relay the benefits of utilizing a writers’ room while conceptualizing fiction projects, delivered to a packed auditorium on Tuesday afternoon as part of the Fiction Factory series held at the UCA Campus in Puerto Madero. Director Daniel Burman, known for films such [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content