In this week’s cover story, Charlize Theron tells Variety she hopes that her new action thriller “Atomic Blonde” spawns a multi-film franchise. But she’s also eager to trek back through the desert as the one-armed Imperator Furiosa in a prequel to “Max Mad: Fury Road.”
“I’d love to,” Theron tells Variety. “There were three scripts. They were written as back stories to Max’s character and to Furiosa’s character. But at the end of the day, this thing lives and breathes with [director] George [Miller]. I think Warner Bros. knows that. We are all waiting for him to show us the way.”
Theron said that that the strong box office reception to “Mad Max” — which grossed $378.9 million worldwide and won six Oscars — helped guide the development of “Atomic Blonde.” In the summer tentpole, Theron plays an ass-kicking British spy that battles Russian baddies in 1989 Berlin.
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“Mad Max” had several false stars, and in one version, Theron revealed she had less of a punk rock look. “Originally, [George] liked this idea that even though they were in the desert, something happened and people actually turned albino,” Theron says. “They became these white ghosts. I had this white hair, kind of like Abbey Lee [Kershaw’s] character. It was very much like that: blonde, bleached, very pale skin, no eyebrows. We played around with African war paint. It would have been a completely different film.”
But after the release of “Snow White and the Huntsman,” Theron wanted to shave her head. “I had just finished a big press tour,” Theron says. “I’d come home — I was just so done with hair and makeup. The idea of going into a desert for 140 days, and having to do hair and makeup every single day. I was so excited about diving into this character, I didn’t want anything to hold me back from that. It think it came from that — just pure exhaustion from hair and makeup. How do I eliminate everything I possibly can and get straight to the business at hand?”
As for another franchise, “The Fast and the Furious,” Theron sounds less certain about whether she’s returning for the next film, after playing a hacker in this spring’s “The Fate of the Furious.”
“I don’t know,” she says. “I have no idea if they’ll have me back. Look, I love everybody at Universal. We’re going to have conversations. We’ll see where it goes.”
For more about Theron and “Atomic Blonde,” read our cover story here.