Charlize Theron worried about offending crew with Gringo baddie role
Charlize Theron on her role as an 'unapologetic' baddie
Charlize Theron's character in the new dark comedy Gringo is so awful that she actually worried about offending the crew.
Playing another blonde bad-ass after her turn in last year's Atomic Blonde, Theron plays one of the baddies this time.
Her character Elaine, along with boyfriend Richard (Joel Edgerton), are manufacturers of a "weed pill" to be mass-produced in Mexico, where they send underling Harold (David Oyelowo) to supervise the production.
Unbeknown to him, the two are also in bed - figuratively - with a local drug lord, while Richard is in bed - literally - with Harold's wife Bonnie (Thandie Newton).
Complications arise and mayhem ensues, with car chases and kidnappings.
Opening here tomorrow, Gringo is directed by Edgerton's brother Nash.
At our interview at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills, Theron - who also portrayed big-screen villains in The Fate Of The Furious, Snow White And The Huntsman and its sequel - said: "Things came out of (Elaine's) mouth that I never imagined would come out of my mouth.
"I found myself profusely apologising to people constantly throughout the day.
"I had moments where I was afraid to eat the food at the catering because I might have offended seven people today and I don't know. There might have been urine in this food.
"But the crew was incredibly supportive and sweet about a lot of the stuff I had to say on set."
She said of her character: "There is something unfiltered and unapologetic about her. She has lived for so long in the bubble of this corporate world where the rules are made by men.
"She not only started applying those rules to her life but was creating them as well. So she is very much a part of a product of her own environment.
"Once I made peace with that, I could embrace the narcissism and brutality of her."
The 42-year-old South Africa-born actress has known the Australian Edgerton brothers for a long time, and they were looking for a way to work together.
On how she met Nash, she said: "I creepily called Nash up 15 years ago after seeing (his first short film) Spider and just said, 'Yo, I want to meet you'. And he was brave enough to sit down and meet with me.
"I saw great promise and potential in him as a film-maker. We became really good friends over the last 15 years.
"Through him I got to meet Joel, and we became really close and actively started searching for something to do together. They kind of felt like my brothers in a weird way."
In Hollywood, Theron has been kicking ass as well, taking charge of her career with her own production company, steering projects for herself as well as other actors, including Gringo, on which she is a producer.
She said: "By the grace of whatever is up there, it made me not limit myself.
"The alternative in my head was like the end of the world. And so I think a lot of that was what drove me.
"The dream was always to be able to do this and to not have to be a waiter in order to support myself or pay the bills.
"I had such an attitude that I had to prove to everybody that they couldn't f*** with me."
She also pins high hopes on the endurance of the #MeToo movement.
"A lot of women, who have worked the same number of years that I have, have seen little movements pop up for three or four months and then go away.
"The biggest thing for us is to not have this go away, and I don't think it is going to go away. So for that, I am happy."
The single mum of two adopted children - boy Jackson in 2012 and girl August in 2015 - does feel the pressure of parenting as she has been nanny-less for two months.
Theron joked: "Yeah, I want to kill myself. The timing could not be worse.
"I am lucky to have a grandmother who lives up the road and absolutely loves being a grandma. But it has been a real busy time for me to try and do it all. You just take it one day at a time."
Besides a big new campaign with French fashion house Christian Dior, for which she has been spokesmodel for the past 11 years,she also has comedy Tully coming up.
It follows the friendship of a mother of three and her nanny.
It is directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody, both of whom she worked with on 2011's Young Adult.
Theron said she finds comedies more challenging than dramas.
She said: "It is just that once you kind of establish yourself as a dramatic actor, you are very much at the bottom of the list when a comedy comes around. "
So what makes her laugh?
"My kids crack me up. They really are some of the funniest little people I have ever met in my entire life, for sure."