Charlize Theron is no stranger to characters who dwell in grand and fantastical worlds. She will bring her bloody reign in theaters this weekend as the Evil Queen in Universal's Snow White and the Huntsman and is hard at work in London prepping for the premiere of Ridley Scott's epic return to sci-fi Prometheus where she plays (possibly) nefarious company woman Meredith Vickers.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Theron in a roundtable discussion at the London press event for the film and were able to gather a few tidbits about her upcoming re-imagining (rather than a sequel or prequel as some have assumed) of Mad Max with Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) as the titular character. The film marks the return of the franchise, after a 27-year absence, which has suffered a series of fits and starts as it made its way into active production.
Note: A quick warning to our more sensitive readers, the following interview contains profane language.
Question: I’m really looking forward to a certain Mad Max movie that is coming up. What can you tell people about that project and when do you begin filming?
Theron: "I leave in like two and a half weeks and we start shooting I think around mid-July in Namibia. I’m f**king dying, too, it’s been three years. It’s time to skin this cat already, so yeah, I’m very excited about it."
Q: Is the script that you were given all that time ago exactly what you’re still doing?
Theron: "Yes, exactly the same script. I know. It was more logistics. It was the fact that he had to finish 'Happy Feet.' Then there was terrible floods in Australia, and the desert just never recovered from it. That sounds horrible. It did recover in a beautiful way, but not in a way that we needed it to, so that was a huge problem for us."
Q: What is it about that project that you’re looking forward to taking on?
Theron: "I think that just like this ('Prometheus') that it's an interesting world. I feel that I have a real interest in this world, and I think people will have an interest in this world because 'Alien' kinda set that up for us. I feel like the original 'Mad Max' created such a vivid world, that to go back and re-imagine it and kind of replay in that sandbox sounds like fun to me. George (Miller, the director of the film) really created a female character that I’ve never read anything like. I mean, I’m scared shitless."
Q: What is it he’s asking of you? Is it something you’ve never done?
Theron: "No, it’s a really challenging piece of material. I think for me originally when they were like, 'Oh, ‘Mad Max.’' I was like, 'Uh, I’m not going to play the fucking girl for ‘Mad Max.’' Then I read it and I was like, 'Oh, ‘Mad Max.’ I feel sorry for you.' (Laughs) That rarely happens. It’s just really, it’s two great characters. It’s not the original 'Mad Max.' It’s the revamped 'Mad Max.' It’s Tom Hardy, who’s incredible. So, the whole thing is just exciting, very, very exciting.
Q: Are you as excited to be back making huge movies?
Theron: "I just want to make good movies. Honestly, the only difference for me with this stuff is that there is more people on the set. You know, the narrative for me is always the most important thing. I feel like 15 years ago you could compartmentalize these things. You could be like, 'Well, that’s your little indie movie, and this is your big film.' I feel like now, that with movies like 'District 9,' I think studios have learned that you can merge the two. A good narrative and a big blockbuster is a good fucking movie, so why separate the two? So, those are the kind of movies that I’m looking for. I don’t want to separate like my good work from my big studio movies anymore. I just want to be a part of some good storytelling."
Q: So do you feel you have a new lease of life?
Theron: "I mean, I’ve had a really great last year. Everything from 'Young Adult' to this, I feel very creatively satisfied and going on to 'Mad Max.' So I feel really, really lucky, yeah."
Q: Is that one of those films where it’s going to be PG-13, or are you guys pushing for a hard R? Do you know?
Theron: "I can’t say. I mean, ultimately it’s going to be up to George Miller, but it feels like…"
Q: I know there’s some violence.
Theron: "Yeah, yeah, there’s some bad-ass violence in it. I mean, if we do what the script is, I don’t know how you can do, but then I feel like PG-13 is pushing a little bit, too, which is good. It feels like—I don’t know. I remember being like, young and watching 'Alien' and loving it."
I think most of us can remember that. We look forward to seeing what Theron will bring to this new version of the Mad Max universe.
Prometheus opens in theaters in the U.S. on June 8th.
There is no release date yet set for Mad Max: Fury Road
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