With Atomic Blonde, Charlize Theron seems to be cementing herself as perhaps the most influential actress in the current action genre. During her Women Who Kick AAss panel, she went into great detail about the film’s inventive inversion of typical action tropes, with a 5 minute clip shown in the middle of the discussion proving that she means business. It was a piece of a 15-minute single take action sequence with Theron’s merciless spy, Lorraine Broughton, plowing her way through two goons. You could practically hear the audience’s bones cracking with each punch, with director David Leitch’s spectacular action choreography lingering on each brutal moment. This isn’t Salt or The Bourne Identity, where the spy just dispatches thugs with ease. This fight hurts and it’s incredible to watch. Below are a few highlights from the chat with Theron.
- When director Leitch saw that Charlize could do all the stunts, he re-choreographed all the action to feature her fully. He said, “I don’t need stunt doubles or tighter coverage, I just need Charlize in front of the camera and the crowd goes nuts.”
- Theron spoke about her admiration for Sigourney Weaver and Lynda Hamilton and aggressively pursued an action role in the same vein with her production company.
- She spoke about how female characters are used to emotionally manipulate in ways that men are not. They’re seen as nurturers, not warriors and now they reason to become warriors. Men don’t need for a revenge story to be seen as such.
- As such, she was enthused by the film’s vague backstory for Lorraine. We don’t need a reason why she’s good at her job. She just is.
- For every move of the fight sequences, Charlize asked Leitch if a girl could physically do it because she never wanted somebody to come up and say a girl can’t do the feats performed. For example. , she only throws one full fisted punch in the film.
- When asked about Lorraine’s lesbian relationship with Sofia Boutella’s Delphine, Theron said, “I could’ve hooked up with a guy, but it’s great that I hooked up with a girl. She was thrilled that female intimacy furthers the story, with Lorraine’s only venerable scene being with Boutella.
- A quote from Chris Hemsworth was read, endorsing Theron to play James Bond. She said that she wants to pursue sequels to Atomic instead, to create an iconography of her own.
- When discussing the topic of equal pay for women, Theron mentioned how she put her foot down for Huntsman Winter’s War with little resistance from the studio. However, she dictated that other actresses are not in the fortunate position to negotiate, the true systemic problem.