Atomic Blonde, now in theatres, is—calling it —gonna be a sleeper hit this summer, and that’ll be just another feather in Charlize Theron’s already insanely chic cap. The action-packed thrill ride follows Lorraine Broughton, the best MI6 spy on the planet (played by Charlize, duh), as she investigates the murder of a fellow super-sexy spy (and her former secret lover, played by the extremely handsome Sam Hargrave) in Cold War Berlin. In bad bitch news surprising no one, Charlize slayed the part while pulling off almost all her own stunts—98 percent to be exact, according to the film’s stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave. Plus, wigs! We love Charlize in this role because it perfectly encapsulates how utterly badass she is. Here are some other ways we bow at Charlize’s iconic career and life.
When she takes supporting characters and turns them into lead roles
Charlize wasn’t the Hunstman in Snow White and The Huntsman, and she sure as hell didn’t play Mad Max in Fury Road, but admit it: you only remember the witch and Furiosa from those movies. That’s because Charlize brings heart, heat and those incredible cheekbones to every role she plays, always overshadowing her male co-stars.
When she spoke up about the gender pay gap
Charlize negotiated to make as much money as Chris Hemsworth in Snow White and the Huntsman, and had this to say about it: “That’s the message: that we just need to put our foot down. This is a good time for us to bring this to a place of fairness, and girls need to know that being a feminist is a good thing. It doesn’t mean that you hate men. It means equal rights. If you’re doing the same job, you should be compensated and treated in the same way.” Right on, Charlize!
When she won an Oscar for going anti-glam in Monster
Not only did she win the little gold man in 2004, but it was a brilliant career move to work with Patty Jenkins—yes, the same uber-talented director behind this summer’s biggest superhero hit, Wonder Woman. Can you imagine the texts these two powerhouses must send to each other? “LOL, Chris Pine wants to come to Scandal-and-wine night again. Why can’t he take no for an answer??”
When she spoke Afrikaans
Charlize is originally from South Africa and though she’s obviously fluent in English, Afrikaans is her mother tongue. As Canadians, we know that being bilingual is extremely badass, non? No wonder Charlize is so good at accents.
When she dissed Tia Mowry at SoulCycle
We can only hope the next season of Ryan Murphy’s Feud is about the one time Charlize Theron reportedly rolled her eyes and said “Oh my god” to Tia Mowry in a dismissive way before tapping it back to a Britney Spears song.
When she pretended she didn’t remember dissing Tia Mowry at SoulCycle
When asked about the eye-rolling incident, Charlize didn’t confirm or deny. A true power move—when you know you’re guilty, just try to be charming and change the subject.
She produces her own projects instead of waiting for them to come to her
Roles for women in Hollywood still often amount to boring best friend or hot wife parts—especially when you’re as beautiful as Charlize. But our girl has exactly zero time for that BS. Instead of saying yes to unfulfilling work, Charlize started her own production company, Denver & Delilah, which not only brought her some of the most interesting parts of her career like Monster and Young Adult, but helped bring Girlboss to Netflix—an important, albeit short-lived, vehicle for other up and coming women to star in.
She doesn’t take shit, even from Tom Hardy
Charlize and Tom Hardy didn’t get along on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road, but that didn’t stop Charlize from giving one of the most impressive and iconic performances of her career. Ladies, let this be a lesson: you might not always get along with your co-workers, but don’t let it bother you, let it inspire you, so that you rise above and deliver.
Brains, brawn, grit and sass—Charlize truly has it all and puts it all on display in Atomic Blonde. Hollywood, please let this be the beginning of many more badass action roles for women!
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