Charlize Theron Used To Feel ‘Shame and Judgment’ For Starring in Blockbuster Movies

Charlize Theron has distinguished herself as one of the most versatile actresses in Hollywood. She’s starred in a number of interesting character pieces such as Monster, but she’s not against starring in massive blockbuster films either. 

Until recently, blockbuster films didn’t get the same level of respect as deeper, more character-driven films in Hollywood. Critics and members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences didn’t hold them in high regard, and often overlooked them when it was time to award the best films of each year. 

Theron personally felt the effects of the industry’s take on blockbuster films and admitted that she felt shame and judgment whenever she would star in one. However, now she believes things are different, and she’s glad those days are behind her. 

Charlize Theron feels blockbuster movies weren’t respected by Hollywood critics 20 years ago

Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party | Toni Anne Barson/WireImage

Theron expressed her thoughts on the struggles of starring in Hollywood movies during a conversation with Michael B. Jordan for Variety

“20 years ago, when you made a big action film it was like you were selling out as an actor,” Theron said. “Somehow you were taking the money and the work didn’t matter. And that’s really changed. … Those films always existed, but the idea that there was any value or any kind of creative, artistic cachet—like there was something that was Oscar-worthy behind it—was always kind of compartmentalized into visual effects, special effects, makeup …”

She says her performance in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is one of the best of her career

Theron has personally never agreed with the notion that blockbuster action movies hold no artistic value. In fact, she believes her work in Mad Max: Fury Road is some of the best of her career.  

“I feel like the level of storytelling that I did as an actor in Fury Road was probably some of the most complex storytelling that I’ve ever done in my career …” Theron said.

Charlize Theron believes the industry’s perception of blockbusters has changed 


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Even though she caught a lot of flak for starring in blockbusters earlier in her career, Theron feels those days are behind her. Today, actors are judged less for starring in big popcorn flicks. 

“For me, it’s really nice at least, to not feel that pressure anymore, that I definitely felt early in my career,” Theron said. “That shame of like, ‘Oh, you’re doing a big blockbuster … It was definitely a feeling of judgment, like, ‘Oh I guess you’re there in your career’ or ‘Oh, I guess you needed the money’ … There was no reason behind choosing to do something.”

Theron was also quick to admit that she personally loves big blockbuster movies, so she has a personal desire to star in them. 

“And the weird thing was, I’ll be the first person to admit, if those were my reasons, I like big movies,” Theron said. “I love big popcorn movies … So that shame has been erased now.” 

She thinks studios are more aware of what audiences want now

Theron also thinks a big reason why the attitude toward blockbusters has changed is that studios are more aware of the fact that audiences actually want to see them. 

“I do think having eliminated that has also made us more aware of what audiences really want,” Theron said. “And that kind of snobbish creative behavior that either came from the creators versus the studios, of like guessing what people like. That’s been fully eliminated because now we can see what audiences really love. The box office don’t lie …”