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Charlize Theron reveals Atomic Blonde movie role cost her two TEETH and left her struggling to pick up her kids

Mirror logo Mirror 4 days ago Warren Manger
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Any aspiring Hollywood femme fatale would kill for Charlize Theron ’s thrilling new role as an elite MI6 spy dubbed the female James Bond .

But the South African star paid a high price to draw gasps as Lorraine Broughton in Atomic Blonde.

She brawled with eight trained fighters every day for 10 weeks before filming during gruelling training so she could do her own stunts.

Credits: German Select

Credits: German Select
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited
She was kicked, punched, and flung face first into a wall.

Charlize, 42, says: “I cracked two back teeth and I had to have dental surgery, they had to be removed. It wasn’t fun.

“It wasn’t even a cool story, like getting punched. I did it in training. I was so frustrated with myself that I clenched my jaw too tight and broke my teeth. It’s still a little sensitive, I still need some more work to be done.”

Charlize often limped home in so much pain she struggled to care for her two children, five year-old son Jackson and daughter August, two.

She says: “Some nights it was painful to pick up my kids, everything hurt. My muscles were in agony.

“The older one would jump on me, want to play, and I was crying inside, but I never showed it. My body was like, ‘It’s been six months, please stop’.”

Also see: Esquire's 'Sexiest Woman Alive' title winners: Then and now

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07: Actress Emilia Clarke attends the HBO Winter 2011 TCA Panel held at the Langham Hotel on January 7, 2011 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic); LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: Emilia Clarke attends a pre BAFTA party hosted by Charles Finch and Chanel at Annabel's on February 11, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/John Phillips/Getty Images) Esquire magazine's 'Sexiest Woman Alive' winners: Then and now

Charlize is no stranger to pushing her body to the limit, filming many of her own stunts as a one-armed road warrior in Mad Max: Fury Road in 2015.

Even a freak accident while filming Aeon Flux in 2005 that nearly left her paralysed didn’t deter her.

Charlize landed on her neck while performing backflips, suffered a herniated disc at the top of her spine and had to wear a neck brace for a month.

She revealed earlier this year: “I was a centimetre away from being completely paralysed for the rest of my life. I had eight years of pain management, where I just couldn’t get rid of the spasms and the nerve damage. I ended up having a neck fusion four years ago.

“I guess it’s made me a little wary, because I’m fully aware of the damage I could cause myself.”

Charlize says she gets a lot of her strength from her mum Gerda. As a teenager she watched her abused mother shoot dead her drunken dad Charles as he threatened them. 

The South African authorities did not charge Gerda and Charlize remains very close with her.

The ordeal inspired Charlize to appear in a graphic campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse .

Charlize says: “She’s saved my life many times. Whatever determination I have, I owe it to her.”

She was also determined to have children despite the breakdown of her long term relationship with Irish actor Stuart Townsend in 2010. She adopted Jackson in 2012 and August in 2015. Juggling motherhood with her busy film and modelling career made her re-think her priorities.

She says: “My life has changed completely. When there were no children in my life, my work always came first. I also had the freedom to take off and travel for three or four months at a time.

“Even though I can’t do that anymore, I’m so incredibly happy to spend time with my children.

“Every day that I wake up I’m thinking about what I’m going to do with them and how I’m going to make them happy.”

A number of actresses are now prepared to mix it up with the men like Charlize, with 2017 shaping up to become the year of the action heroine. Wonder Woman proved a box office hit with Gal Gadot and we are about to get our first female Doctor Who in Jodie Whittaker .

Charlize gave the guys as good as she got on Atomic Blonde. None of the fight scenes used special effects, so she quite literally kicked her male co-stars all over the set.

She says: “I really had doubts for those fight sequences. I did things I never thought I’d be able to do, like throwing these big dudes around.

“These are guys who are trained to take it, to fall down and get back up again, which they did repeatedly. I don’t know how. But I still felt pretty guilty all the time.

“There were guys literally getting kicked in the face. I was scared I was hurting anyone. My face in those scenes is cold, but in my mind I’m like, ‘I’m sorry, please don’t hate me’.

It is a film where the women are definitely in control. When Charlize’s spy gets naked for a saucy sex scene it is with another woman.

Charlize says: “I’m glad it was with a woman. I didn’t want the only time she lets her guard down to be with a man, to be about a man.”

Charlize’s skills led to fellow Hollywood star Chris Hemsworth tipping her as the next James Bond. Could 007 be about to follow in Doctor Who’s footsteps?

Charlize isn’t so sure about that. “I think we’ve created our own version with Lorraine,” she says. “I feel she’s it in many ways.”

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