An Ode to Charlize Theron

I have to apologize. This article has nothing to do with dating advice. I just wanted to talk about how different Charlize Theron is from other actors and actresses in Hollywood.

When I was an actor, it was like a cattle call and an arms race. For one car commercial, 200 actors would be called in (these were hand-selected from thousands based on a picture of their face alone). The production team picked only two out of these 200 actors for the final production, and they were often the most talented and best-looking of the bunch. When your looks can make the difference between a $50,000 paycheck and sadly sucking an iced coffee as a consolation prize, it’s no wonder so many people in Hollywood are obsessed with how they look: they have to be.

This is especially pronounced with successful actresses: months are spent planning Academy Award Ceremony dresses and perfecting makeup and hair, each actress trying to outdo all the others and get noticed by directors and fans to generate buzz for that next big film. I’m not a woman, but I can imagine this leads to a deep insecurity and a need to be beautiful everywhere, at all times.

Here’s what makes Charlize different: while everyone in Hollywood is running around obsessed with looking more glamorous than everyone else, she often chooses roles that downplay her looks. On purpose. In “Monster,” she played a murderous hooker. Though Charlize is beautiful, for that role she wore makeup that deformed her face, and made her look… well, less than attractive. In Mad Max, her head was shaved and she was missing an arm. Again, not your typical image of glamor. In Atomic Blonde, her face and body were covered in gnarly bruises for most of the movie.

It seems this particular flexibility has been helpful to her career, as she really has no competition on the “damaged bad-ass” department. Even Gal Godot, while super badass as Wonder Woman, still had perfectly curled wavy hair and gorgeous makeup, not really sacrificing any beauty to the role.

Charlize, you rock, keep being you. You are showing us that it’s more important to be authentic than to be what we think others expect us to be.