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The Italian Job - Charlize Theron Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. It has been reported, that of all the members of the cast, you were the best when it came to getting behind the steering wheel? True or false?
A.
I think you should ask Mark...
Mark: Charlize had eight stunt doubles. No, she was certainly the most gung-ho of all the cast members to get behind the wheel, and she had some of the more challenging stunts to do, especially the sequence in the garage, when we are preparing to do the first heist in LA. But she was definitely the daredevil out of the group.
But I am challenging her right now to a race...
Charlize: But why have a race when you know you would have to to stop to throw up [she asks, looking at Mark, suggestively] and I would win, no matter what!
Mark: I only get car sick when I'm in the passenger seat and it's 120 degrees and I've just had Subway subs for lunch!
Charlize: That's always an excuse, isn't it, Mark?

Q. It's well recorded that Mark and the other American members of the cast had virtually no idea that Sir Michael Caine had made a film of the same name, but since you don't come from the US, did you have an inkling of the film?
A.
I didn't know about it. I wish that I could say I did. But when I was growing up in South Africa, we were so behind in movies, and so I discovered the original with the rest of the guys.

Q. How did you find working with Donald Sutherland?
A.
I didn't actually get to meet him, although I had the phone call scene with him. And I didn't really expect to have him on the other line when I showed up to do the scene.
He was in Romania doing Cold Mountain and he had cleaned out his entire day to be there for me, all day on the film, which I thought was incredible.
Mark: Yeah, he insisted on being the dead body when we were doing that scene. They had spent thousands of dollars on the dummy, cos it had to be halfway in the water, because, obviously, you get very sick in those temperatures. But he insisted, even being off-camera, to be there for me, and would get in the water, in order to establish the scenes and do everything on his own. It's pretty amazing, because when they asked me to do something for him, man, I was in my caravan or on the way home [laughs].

Q. Had you expected to be talking into a vacuum, then, or someone different on the other end of the phone?
A:
Well, you usually have the script supervisor. But I've been very fortunate, in that I've always worked with actors who have been willing to be there, but in this case it was a little different because he wasn't on the movie every day. I knew he was busy doing another film, and so I didn't expect him to be there. In fact, I think very few actors would do that and I was really impressed by that.
And then I got to meet him in Venice, and I just remember him coming over to me and - he's a very tall man - and he just wrapped his arms around me, before he even said anything, and hugged me like a daughter, and I thought, it didn't get any better than this, you know?

Q. What did you make of the original Italian Job?
A.
I loved it, I absolutely loved it. I can't remember ever seeing an ending like that. To me, it was one of the great classic endings. And like Mark just said, when we read the script, there was a nice balance between not even trying to touch the brilliant moments in the original and paying more attention to the things that might not have worked so well, and ironing that out. But I liked that we didn't try and outdo the end, the cliffhanger, or try and redo the car chase scenes in the original. That's why I do like the word homage, because I think we all realised why that movie was so loved and respected and just wanted to pay homage to that.

Q. Do you have any mad baby urges, or marriage urges in the future?
Mark:
Should I tell them about you and Ben?
[Laughs]
Charlize: Yeah, sure, definitely. I think Ben would be a good father. They'd be cute babies.
No, I do, I can't imagine not having children, because family is important to me, as is my life. I love my work, but I've never really been the girl that lives to work, so those things are important to me, definitely.
That said, I never had the dream of the white dress and wedding thing and all that. But now, as I'm getting older, I'm getting around the idea of just having a big party, and getting drunk, and saying, 'we love each other'.

Q. Was there any rivalry caused by you being the only woman on the set?
A.
No, I think the great thing was that, from day one, we all got thrown into a room and everybody had a very sound personality and thank God everyone had a great sense of humour. I think that it was because of the way they dealt with me, that they never truly underlined the fact that I was a girl, helped.
In the beginning it was hard, because Gary was trying to separate them, so they pulled off this big heist, where they stole things out of the Paramount studios that I wasn't aware of, and felt very left out, and they'd come in and talk among themselves; but after that, I said, you know what, next time there is a heist going down, I'd better be involved, and from that day on, it was fine.

Q. So does that suggest that as a girl, you were a bit of a tomboy?
A.
I was, yes, I was very 50/50. I grew up on a farm and I was an only child and my parents ran a road construction company, my dad used to build little go-karts for me, so I raced a lot of go-karts and dirt bikes when I was growing up. But at the same time, I discovered ballet when I was four-years-old, and there was the princess syndrome as well, so it was never just one thing.

Q. Would you like to go back to South Africa and make a film?
A.
I'd love to, yes. I just don't want to do a movie for the sake of doing a movie. It's hard, because a lot of movies being made about South Africa right now are still stuck in our politics and what the country's gone through in the last 15 years. I'm very keen on the idea of doing something that can speak for the people there now.
I'm very active in what is going on in the politics at the moment, so when the right thing comes my way, or if I can develop it myself, I would definitely love to do that, yes.

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