Charlize Theron Gets Brutally Honest About Her Box Office Failures: ‘I’m Not One of Those Actors Who Doesn’t Care’

Few actors can go from a searing drama to a high-octane action thrill ride to a goofy comedy like Charlize Theron. The Oscar-winning star has cultivated a unique career by tackling just about every genre there is.

And while fans and critics might appreciate much of her work, that doesn’t mean all Theron’s films connect at the box office. Now the actor has opened up about how she deals with that kind of disappointment.

Charlize Theron at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar party
Charlize Theron at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar party | Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

Charlize Theron’s ‘The Old Guard’ just hit Netflix

In her most recent movie, Theron stars as the immortal leader of a group of mercenaries. The Old Guard was released directly to Netflix and has gained mostly positive reviews. Many critics specifically call out Theron’s performance as a highlight.

The way the industry is going, the actor might actually wind up taking on many more Netflix-only releases. She previously produced the Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston comedy Murder Mystery. Moreover, Theron is developing a sequel to 2017’s Atomic Blonde.

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Charlize Theron has spoken out about her big-screen failures

Theron’s interest in mid-budget releases is likely why she’s fast becoming part of the Netflix family. In the last five years, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Fate of the Furious are her only huge effects-driven movies. Many of her other films — even those that are critically lauded — fail to hit at the box office. That takes a toll, Theron told The Hollywood Reporter.

Unfortunately, I’m not one of those actors who doesn’t care, and maybe it is because I’ve become a producer. But I do care. You work really hard on these things, and there’s nothing easy about it.

When you somehow feel like you missed the mark, and people just didn’t either have an awareness or didn’t feel like there was a reason to see it, there’s definitely this moment where it sometimes feels like years of work is just all of a sudden gone in a heartbeat.

That’s the unfortunate thing about what we do. It’s not overnight. You don’t pull a good film off overnight. It’s tedious. It’s a lot of time and energy, and when it doesn’t work, you feel it; you really feel it.

In that interview, THR specifically mentions two of Theron’s 2018 releases: domestic drama Tully and romantic comedy Long Shot. Neither film became a box office hit, despite the latter co-starring Seth Rogen. Going forward, Theron fans can probably count on more of these movies going straight to Netflix.

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The Oscar winner could be in line to join the MCU in a mysterious role

In the meantime, however, that doesn’t mean Theron will be absent from the big screen. Rather, as the industry leans into the popularity of franchises and shared universes, the actor might wind up taking part in another huge movie series, like how she’s returning for Fast and Furious 9.

According to recent rumors, Theron could even be up for a mysterious role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The actor previously played a superpowered being in 2008’s Hancock opposite Will Smith. And The Old Guard technically qualifies as a superhero movie. So she’s inching closer.