If you had told me in 1998 that Charlize Theron — star of Mighty Joe Young — would one day be the avatar of female action stars I would not have believed you. Not that Theron didn’t do her best with a “What if King Kong had been a giant toddler?” premise, but still. Then, after Monster, I still wouldn’t have believed you because obviously Theron was going to leave action-adventure films behind to become a serious actress. Luckily for everyone, she hasn’t just stuck to that path.
Hints of the her future were present in the subpar American-take-on-anime-turned-live-action Aeon Flux but it wasn’t until she and Will Smith beat each other up in Hancock that, in hindsight, a pattern began to emerge. Charlize Theron loves action roles. Then along came Mad Max: Fury Road to cement her in the same rarified pantheon as the likes of Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamilton. Next up will be Atomic Blonde, which looks a lot like “Lady John Wick.” The film includes a lot of intense fight choreography, with Theron taking on much of the stunts herself. In the video above, check out how the stunt crew was able to adjust their expectations (basically, they weren’t going to have to do 100 edits to make the fight look good) and take Atomic Blonde to a whole new level thanks to the commitment of their lead actress.
My favorite part? When Theron asks the stunt guy if he’s okay after throwing him onto the ground.