Charlize Theron Had Doubts About Playing a Serial Killer in 'Monster'

The role ultimately won her an Oscar.

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  • Charlize Theron won an Oscar for "Best Actress" for her role as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster.
  • In Marie Claire's June cover interview, Theron admits she didn't think she could pull off the role at first, but director Patty Jenkins convinced her otherwise.

Charlize Theron is known for her incredible versatility—it's one of the many characteristics (besides how low-key funny she is) that makes her so compelling. But if it wasn't for the support of director Patty Jenkins, who convinced her to take on the role of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003), Theron admits she probably wouldn't have gone through with the role that later won her an Oscar.

"I didn’t think I could do it at first,” Theron told Marie Claire in her June cover interview. "The thing that convinced me ultimately was that I had never had—and I get emotional thinking about it—I never had somebody believe in me like that before. I was always the person who would go into audition after audition after audition and lay myself on broken glass and not get the part. And all of a sudden, this woman is sitting in front of me, and she’s like, ‘You have to. You’re the only person who can.'"

Over the course of her career, Theron has starred in a range of films from Monster (2003) to Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) to Atomic Blonde (2017) to Snow White and the Huntsman (2012). If she hadn't taken on the role of Wuornos in 2003 (she gained 40 pounds for it!), it may not have led to her first-ever romantic comedy with Seth Rogen (out May 3), who Theron also says fully supports her.

"And we are only as good as—the way I talk about Seth, I feel like when you work with people who believe in you fully like that, if you have that kind of faith in me, I will do anything for you."

Read Theron's full Marie Claire June cover interview here.

Top News Stories for June 21, 2015

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

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Rachel Epstein

Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.