×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Charlize Theron Tears Up While Discussing the Emotional Impact of ‘Black Panther’

For Charlize Theron, watching “Black Panther” was more than just her latest Marvel indulgence. It was an emotional reminder of her past – a childhood spent growing up amidst the discriminatory practices of South African apartheid.

“I was born and raised in South Africa during the apartheid era, and I am very much a white African who lived and thrived under tremendously dark circumstances, and that really marks you as a person,” Theron said during her Variety Actors on Actors interview with Michael B. Jordan. “Whether that’s your ideology or not, you’re living in it.”

Theron says she was 15 when the apartheid laws were finally disbanded, but its effects on her are still present today. Present enough, in fact, to bring tears to her eyes when Jordan asked her about her experience watching “Black Panther” for the first time.

She said it caused an “emotional reaction” due in part to her two adopted African-American daughters – who she can’t wait to show the film to (when they’re old enough) – but also due to the sense of catharsis she felt after watching it.

“That movie broke so many glass ceilings across the board. Not just the fact that there are women in power and that they’re black, beautiful, strong African-American women, African women… I got something very cathartic out of that,” she says. “I mean it’s so empowering to watch that movie.”

Part of the film’s emotional impact also comes from the fact that it wasn’t until Theron was in her 20s and 30s that she really came to terms with the anger and guilt she felt from her childhood, she added. Despite experiencing numerous tragedies in her life, she said it was her experience with apartheid that ultimately led her to therapy.

“It’s so much more than just whether you’re from Africa or whether you’re African-American,” she says. “It’s such a bigger thing than that.”

Watch the full interview below:

More Film

  • Ruben Fleischer

    Ruben Fleischer Returns to His Roots for 'Zombieland: Double Tap'

    Recapturing the personality of a successful film for its follow-up can be a challenging task for a filmmaker, given the story told, characters involved and especially the time passed between installments. But even after 10 years, “Zombieland: Double Tap” director Ruben Fleischer knew exactly what to focus on to ensure that his sequel lived up [...]

  • Maleficent

    How 'Maleficent' Sequel's Characters Drove Costumes and Special Effects Makeup

    The art of making sequels demands a fine balance between revisiting an existing world and giving the audience something new to chew on. For Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” costume designer Ellen Mirojnick and special effects makeup designer David White started with the familiar and built things out from there. “This movie is a fantastic [...]

  • Michael Caine poses for a portrait

    Michael Caine, Lena Headey to Star in Modern-Day Version of 'Oliver Twist'

    Michael Caine, Lena Headey and pop star Rita Ora are to star in “Twist,” a modern-day, gender-bending film interpretation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel “Oliver Twist” for Sky, which will release the film day and date in theaters and on its pay-TV platform. The title role of Oliver is played by Jude Law’s son Raff [...]

  • Lucia Milazzotto

    Rome MIA Director Lucia Milazzotto Talks Linear TV and Theatrical Comeback

    MIA market director Lucia Milazzotto is the main architect of Rome’s new format post-Mipcom, pre-AFM confab launched five years ago to serve as a driver for the Italian industry in the global arena. The MIA acronym stands for (Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo, or International Audiovisual Market). Milazzotto spoke to Variety about how this unique event featuring [...]

  • Ken Burns

    Ken Burns, Library of Congress to Present Documentary Award to 'Flannery'

    Documentarian Ken Burns is partnering with the Library of Congress and two philanthropic organizations to present a new award to “Flannery,” a documentary about Flannery O’Connor. Filmmaker Elizabeth Coffman and Jesuit priest Mark Bosco will be presented the first Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film on Oct. 17 at the library. The award includes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content