Charlize Theron is speaking up about an unsettling experience she had in the early stages of her career.
In a new Harper’s Bazaar interview, the actor recalled an unnamed filmmaker who had her attend multiple wardrobe fittings to make her look more “fuckable” on set.
“I remember one movie in particular, this male director who just kept bringing me in, fitting after fitting after fitting,” she told the outlet. “It was just so obvious that it was to do with my sexuality and how fuckable they could make me in the movie. And when I started out, that was just kind of the norm.”
“Having absolutely no control over what you’re wearing is a big one that really fucking annoyed me for years,” Charlize said. “Having some guy make you have a fitting almost in front of them—stuff like that, it’s really belittling.”
Instead of being asked her opinion, the Oscar-winning actor said that the outfits were non-negotiable. “There was no conversation around it. It was like, ‘This is what you’re wearing,’” she said.
Charlize is well briefed in Hollywood’s urge to sexualise women and has pushed back during her career.
In 2003, she launched the production company Denver & Delilah after her experience filming the critically acclaimed Monster. The actor said that she sensed the film’s financiers were only interested in making “a hot lesbian movie with me and [co-star] Christina Ricci” instead of protecting director Patty Jenkins’ vision.
Nearly 20 years later, the leading lady is on a mission to improve how Hollywood operates.
“There’s a natural fight in me to want to create environments [on set] that feel like the things that I wish I had 30 years ago,” she said. “I am very aware of looking at the big picture and saying, ‘Is this really the best we can do?’”
For a forthcoming film that she is producing, women account for 85% of the cast and crew, she said. The movie, a sequel to 2020′s The Old Guard, is slated for release next year.
Charlize is also starring in the upcoming fantasy film The School For Good And Evil, streaming on Netflix from 21 October.