Charlize Theron Talks About Starring in "Aeon Flux"

Charlize Theron on "Aeon Flux," Her Injury, and the Film's Message

Charlize Theron stars in "Aeon Flux". © Paramount Pictures

"Aeon Flux" - The Story: Charlize Theron stars in Paramount Pictures/MTV Films' "Aeon Flux," a science fiction/action drama based on the MTV animated series. Set 400 years in the future, the Earth's population has been decimated by disease. Those who have managed to survive live inside a protected city run by a congress of scientists. Underground operative Aeon Flux is sent on a mission to kill the government's leader and while trying to fulfill her duty, she uncovers secrets that make her question everything she believes in.

Charlize Theron's Explains Why She Chose to Follow-up "Monster" with "Aeon Flux:" “I just get bored. I get bored easily. I mean, you know, I had a great time working on ‘Monster.’ It was a creatively exhilarating experience and it couldn’t have gone any better. I just - and this is not because I won the [Academy] Award - it’s just always been the case in my career. To give yourself to a film takes a lot of time and it has to be something that challenges you as an artist. Otherwise you’re just kind of floating through eight months of your life not doing something that you feel challenged by or driven by, or passionate about.

This was something that scared the living s**t out of me, because it’s a genre that I’ve never really touched upon, so it’s a world that I’ve never really experienced. And physically it was something that I’d never done. I’m back to my roots. I mean I trained as a ballerina for 12 years and I was dying in some sense to tell a story physically, and I thought this was a great way to do that.

And so I was scared of it and I felt really challenged by it.”

The Overall Message of “Aeon Flux:” “Well, I think that it’s socially relevant, which I think you can’t make anything future-based and not pay attention to what’s happening socially. The character is very strong; a very independent thinker and somebody who really stands for something, who really believes in freedom and really believes in questioning humanity.

The reason why I liked the story so much was because it dealt with social relevance that also was human relevance. It’s not about a bunch of futuristic robots walking around. These are people who still have to deal with love and pain, and their place in society – where they fit in and how they fit in and whether they’re being manipulated or whether they’re really free. That freedom - that fight for freedom - that ultimate thing that makes us individuals.”

Charlize Theron on Being Injured While Filming “Aeon Flux:” “It was around the tenth or the ninth day of shooting so it was pretty early on. We still had a whole film to do. I did a back handspring, gymnastics back handspring, had done 18 of them back to back and I just slipped and landed on my neck with my body straight out so with all my weight onto my neck and herniated the disk between my third and fourth vertebrae. And it had slipped and was really loose and was close to my spinal cord and I was hospitalized for five days in Berlin and then came back here and saw some doctors. I had some nerve damage, it was numb and on the right side of my body.

I think that we all realized that it was a pretty serious injury, especially when I came back here and did some tests and saw some doctors.

I don’t really like the drama of it, but I realize I was pretty lucky. So we all decided that we needed to take the time, it was important to me to take the time to heal properly in order to go back and not fear away from the physical aspect. To come back stronger and ready to do all of that.”

Continuing on With Stunts After Her Injury: “I came back and did everything we’d scheduled around. I came back six weeks later and with the first two weeks we didn’t go straight into stunts, and just slowly, slowly got myself [ready]. I was doing five hours a day of physiotherapy and went back with the physiotherapist and kept working with her as well. We had done more than we planned to do and that was very important to me. This is a very physical character.”

On the Responsibility of Playing the Lead Role, No Matter the Size of the Budget: "I always feel responsible, you know, because it’s not my money.

I think you have to kind of go into it disciplined, no matter what the budget is. Because on an indie, it might not sound like a lot of money, but it’s still some and it’s usually coming from a single financier, so it’s one person’s money.

Now that I’m producing films, you realize the logistics of making a film. It’s a lot of pressure and I think no matter what the budget is, you have to play within those rules and you have to shoot a film within certain days and you have to make your days count and you have to be ready for surprises, like an injury or whatever. So for me, I always feel responsible no matter what the budget is. At the end of the day I don’t want to waste anybody’s time or money. I want to deliver something that’s good and I respect the people who give you the tools in order to do that.”