Charlize Theron recalls male director's 'belittling' treatment of her on movie set

Charlize Theron has opened up about her experience of being mistreated and objectified in Hollywood in a candid new interview

Charlize Theron recalls director's 'belittling' treatment of her on movie set
(Image credit: Getty)

Charlize Theron has shared her 'belittling' experience in the early stages of her career, recalling how a male director's alleged misconduct with her during a costume fitting. 

The US-South African actor condemned the mistreatment of women in Hollywood in her latest interview, revealing that she had 'absolutely no control' over her appearance on-screen for years. 

Speaking to Harper's Bazaar on Thursday, Charlize detailed one incident in which she was allegedly objectified behind the scenes by a film director. 

"I remember one movie in particular, this male director who just kept bringing me in, fitting after fitting after fitting after … And it was just so obvious that it was to do with my sexuality and how fuckable they could make me in the movie," she said. 

This upsetting experience, which the Monster star claims was "the norm" when she was starting out in showbiz, is far from the only time the 47-year-old has felt uncomfortable at work. Charlize Theron reportedly requested on-set 'protection' after she 'felt threatened' by her co-star, Tom Hardy, during the shooting of their 2015 action movie, Mad Max: Fury Road

Charlize Theron

(Image credit: Stefanie Keenan / Contributor/Getty Images)

"Having absolutely no control over what you’re wearing is a big one that really f**king annoyed me for years," she continued. "Having some guy make you have a fitting almost in front of them – stuff like that, it’s really belittling." 

Charlize went on to explain how she was never asked for her input on her attire at the beginning of her career, recalling that "there was no conversation around it." 

"It was like, 'This is what you’re wearing,'" she recounted. 

With over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry, Charlize is now embracing the opportunity to have agency in her work. This is perhaps best reflected in her film production company, Denver and Delilah Productions, which has produced a number of successful movies – including Young Adult (2011) and Atomic Bomb (2017) – since its establishment in 2003. 

"There’s a natural fight in me to want to create environments that feel like the things that I wish I had 30 years ago when I started," Charlize said, referring to her prioritization of women in the casts and crew of her productions. 

"I don’t always get it right, but I am very aware of looking at the big picture and saying, ‘Is this really the best we can do?’"

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.