Charlize Theron Once Told Michael B. Jordan She Had a ‘Very Emotional Reaction’ the First Time She Saw ‘Black Panther’

Charlize Theron is an extremely successful actress that has starred in many great American films, but many people don’t know she’s actually from South Africa. Her ties to the nation give her a unique perspective about race and class, especially because she lived there during apartheid. 

Her unique background is what caused her to have a very emotional reaction to the 2018 blockbuster Black Panther. Having seen racial injustice for so long and having Black children of her own, Black Panther resonated with her on a deeper level.

Charlize Theron had a strong emotional reaction to ‘Black Panther’

Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron attends the drive-in screening of “Mad Max: Fury Road” | Rich Fury/Getty Images

RELATED: Charlize Theron Unpacks Some of the Trauma From Growing Up in South Africa During Apartheid

Theron detailed her feelings about Black Panther during a resurfaced 2018 interview with Michael B. Jordan for Variety.

“For me to watch Black Panther as the person I am—and I know this sounds crazy to a lot of people—but it is a very emotional thing, it was a very emotional thing for me to watch it,” Theron said. 

She was born and raised in apartheid South Africa 

Theron, born in apartheid South Africa, saw extensive racial injustices during her earlier years, which have had a lasting impact on her. 

“I was born and raised in South Africa during the apartheid era,” Theron said. “And I am very much a white African who lived and thrived under tremendously dark circumstances. And that really marks you as a person. Whether that’s your ideology or not, you’re living in it.”

Because of her experiences, Theron carried a lot of repressed guilt and anger. 

“When you’re young, you don’t know anything different,” Theron said. “And then you grow up and see the rest of the world—you’re lucky enough, like I was lucky enough, to see the rest of the world—you know something is wrong but you don’t necessarily understand the broad-strokes of it. … I didn’t realize until my late 20s, 30s, how much anger I had inside me—and guilt—for just living my life circumstantially in a place that I didn’t necessarily choose.”

She can’t wait to show ‘Black Panther’ to her kids 

Theron’s emotional reaction to Black Panther was largely due to the fact that she has two Black children of her own. 

“I have two young girls, two young, beautiful Black, African-American girls, not from South Africa …” Theron said. “I had a very emotional reaction to it, I still do when I think about it because I cannot wait to share that movie with them.”

Theron personally understands how Black Panther has opened so many doors for her children and Black people, in general. 

“I had this weird reaction watching it when I said to myself, ‘I cannot wait for my girls to be big enough to share this with them,’” Theron said. “Because it’s so much more than just whether you’re from Africa or whether you’re African American or—it’s such a bigger thing than that, that movie broke so many glass ceilings across the board. Not just the fact that there are women in power and that they’re Black beautiful, strong African-American women, African women … and that my children are gonna benefit from that, but that I got something very cathartic out of that.”

When considering everything Theron saw growing up, and the fact that she has two Black daughters, it makes sense why the movie meant so much to her.