‘You don’t have to explain womanhood’

‘You don’t have to explain womanhood’

For some time, actress Charlize Theron focussed on getting critical acclaim for her meaty portrayals like that of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003), for which she won the Academy Award, or in the sexual harassment-themed drama North Country in (2005). With Atomic Blonde, she combines feline grace with a leashed powerhouse  performance that redefines the contours of the female gaze in cinema. Excerpts from an interview:

On being excited about the potential of the character

Something about the character of Lorraine really sparked something inside me. I can’t articulate it but I just saw an incredible amount of potential in exploring her through this journey.

On Lorraine’s will to win

Ultimately what is great about her is that she just really wants to win more than any other guy in the room and  I love that about her character. I think that comes to play not just  in the physical stuff she does but even in her emotional journey. She has to win to survive.

On director David Leitch

He came with an idea of what he wanted the heart of this film to be and what he wanted it to look like. It was brave and refreshing, provocative though provoking. All this made me want to take up the movie.

On the 1980s soundtrack

All of us wanted it to be a bit of a surprise. So there are parts of it which are nostalgic, parts of which are super-eccentric based on the Euro 80s’ classic that we know of and I love that part of it. I think soundtrack plays a very important role in place and time and you  know where you are. There is a lot of emotion which I think comes from  the songs. For example, I did not know that Under Pressure was set  in a social context of exploring the pressure-cooker mentality of a culture willing to wage war against political machines. A lot of these  songs lend themselves perfectly to the story-telling of the movie.

On having a strong woman in the lead role:

I was very excited about the fact that the character of Lorraine was really good at her job though we never explained why she was good at it. Neither do we remind the audience that she is a woman who can have babies and is emotionally  attached to things. You can take this story, flip it and it works exactly the same way and that strength is something  I am really proud of as a woman.



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