Charlize Theron


  1. Elizabeth Berkley, Showgirls, 1995.  
    Scenarist Joe Eszterhas interviewed 50-plus exotic dancers  and, aided by Hawaiian weed, came up with All About Eve in Vegas. And Pamela Anderson, Angelina Jolie, Denise Richards,and… Charlize Theron, who’d made her screen debut  that years – as an extra  – in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest. Plus and the  unknown, Vanessa Marcil (too shy for nudity) fled his sexy heroine, Nomi Malone.Jenny McCarthy was favourite, except she couldn’t dance. Producer Charles Evans then found Elizabeth Berkley, from Saved by the Bell. In one of its 2018 It Happened in Hollywoodpodcasts, Hollywood Reporter took unseemly delight in reporting she agreed to audition in his New York hotel room – even adding that “after being blown away by her performance,” he convinced Paul Verhoeven to give her a shot. Unable to land his dream mix of Madonna and Drew Barrymore as the 90s Bette Davis and Anne Baxter, the Dutch director decided to create his own star.  He failed.   Worse,, he confessed, he ruined Berkley’s career. Theron  was soon co-starring with Al Pacino and being directed by first-timer Tom Hanks. And Berkeley was nowhere. She never made another A-List film since Woody Allen’s The Curse of the Jade Scorpion in 2001, yet survived on TV: CSI: Miami, Law & Order, The L Word.

  2. Kate Winslet, Titanic, 1996. 
  3. Tara Reid, The Big Lebowski, 1998.     In the Coen brothers’ mix for Bunny, the kidnapped trophy wife of the titular Jeffrey; ie David Huddleston, not Jeff Bridges, OK, man?
  4. Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blonde, 2000.  Theron, Christina Applegate, Katherine Heigl, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Milla Jovovich and Gwyneth Paltrow all tried to win Elle Woods in the far from official sequel to Clueless,1994.  At one point, Elle said that she gew up in Bel Air, across the street from TV producer icon, Aaron Spelling –  his daughter,Tori, was also up for Elle.
  5. Angelina Jolie, Lara Croft, Tomb Raider, 2000.    For the girls, Lara Croft is their James Bond. Well, more of a sexy Indiana Jones. And 22 hopefuls wanted to bringther sassy, video-game adventurer to life. Demi More was, perhaps, the most keen, but who was simply disregarded. Christina Applegate, Drew Barrymore, Victoria Beckham, Sandra Bullock, Cameron Diaz, Nicole Eggert, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kate Hudson, Elizabeth Hurley, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Lopez, Gwneth Paltrow, Anna Nicole Smith (a joke, surely), Catherine Zeta-Jones were more serioiusly considered. Fairuza Balk, Natalie Cassidy, Kirsten Dunst and Milla Jovovich auditioned while Denise Richards, Charlize Theron, Uma Thurman and Liv Tyler simply refused. And Lara’s guy (who fled the sequel) was Daniel Craig – complete with a Walther PPK pistol that he would use again as 007 in Casino Royale, 2005.
  6. Kate Beckinsale, Pearl Harbor, 2001.      Charlize quit for the 2001 re-make of Sweet November – repeating her no-chemistry partnership with Keanu Reeves from The Devil’s Advocate.
  7. Reese Witherspoon, Sweet Home Alabama, 2002.     Due to the actor’s strike, she jumped to a ready-to-go movie Trapped. The  plot (white trasher  reinvents herself as a New York socialite) was something of a reverse take on Reese’s Legally Blonde that opened hugely the weekend she was signed,
  8. Jennifer Connelly, A Brilliant Mind, 2001.   If the choice of the right actor to  portray the schizophrenic Noble Prize-winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr was vital,  selecting his screen wife was even more so   – hence an Oscar for Connelly and not for Russell Crowe.  The other candidates included Julie Bowen, Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Geena Davis, Kirsten Dunst, Portia De Rossi, Claire Forlani, Rachel Griffiths, Teri Hatcher, Famke Janssen, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Catherine McCormack, Mary McCormick, Mia Maestro, Rhona Mitra, Julia Ormond, Amanda Peet, Christina Ricci, Meg Ryan, Chloe Sevigny, Alicia Silverstone, Mira Sorvino, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Uma Thurman, Rachel Weisz.  PS Emily Watson was rejected as “too British” – while Salma Hayek was seen because  Alicia Nash came from El; Salvador… which must have meant the others were too American, Australian,  South African, etc.  Director Ron Howard, seemed to forget they were all actresses. Odd that, as he used to be one.
  9. Renée  Zellweger, Chicago, 2002.
  10. Jennifer Garner, Daredevil, 2002.    “How did I become Action Girl?” asked Garner.  Because 22 other girls were not punching their weight in TV’s Alias every week. They were Jessica Alba, Jolene Blalock, Neve Campbell, Penelope Cruz, Portia de Rossi, Eliza Dushku, Claire Forlani, Angie Harmon, Salma Hayek, Katie Holmes, Milla Jovovich, Nicole Kidman, Lucy Liu, Mia Maestro, Rhona Mitra, Bridget Moynahan, Natalie Portman, Kyra Sedgwick, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon.  Plus the Norwegian ballet dancer Natassia Malthe, who became Typhoid in Garner’s 2004 Elektra spin-off.  Garner reportedly KOed the blind hero, Ben Affleck, in one scene – he still married her three years later!

  11. Nicole Kidman, Bewitched, 2004.    
    For inexplicable reasons, Hollywood kept trying to make a movie out of the  1968-1972 ABC sitcom about a good-looking witch and a Dagwood husband.  In 1993, Penny Marshall was going to direct Meryl Streep as Samantha, then passed the reins to Ted Bissell and he died in 1996 when his Richard Curtis script was planned as Melanie Griffths’ comeback.  Nora Ephron co-wrote and directed this lumbering version about an ego-driven actor trying to save his career with a Bewitched re-hash, but with the emphasis on him (of course) as Darrin, rather than the unknown he chose for Samatha because she can wiggle her nose…  (You didn’t need a nose to know it stank).  Over the years, 37 other ladies were on the Samantha wish-list. Take a deep breath… Kate Beckinsale, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Connelly, Cameron Diaz, Heather Graham, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, Julianne Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Pfeiffer, Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Brooke Shields, Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts, Renee Zellweger.  Plus seven Oscar-winners:  Kim Basinger, Tatum O’Neal, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon… twoFriends: Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow…eleven other TV stars: Christina Applegate, Patricia Arquette, Kristin Davis, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Helen Hunt, Jenny McCarthy, Alyssa Milano, Brittany Murphy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alicia Silverstone… even  Drew Barrymore and Uma Thurman, who had already re-kindled Charlie’s Angels and The Avengers.

  12. Uma Thurman, Be Cool, 2005.     Charlize, Halle Berry, Jennifer Connolly  and Naomi Watts were all in the mix for Edie Athens, but  but John Travolta (as Elmore Leonard’s Chilli Palmer, himself) wanted  more magic with his Pulp Fiction  co-star.
  13. Keira Knightley, Domino, 2005.UK action director Tony Scott first had the idea of filming the life of Laurence Harvey’s daughter, Domino (model turned bounty-hunter) while shooting True Romance in 1993. He kick-started the project on hearing Charlize was pushing Sony to make a similar biopic.
  14. Eva Green, Casino Royale, 2005.
  15. Evangeline Lilly, The Hurt Locker, 2007. Lost out on Iraq War II  duty for what  James Cameron called, after persuading his ex-wife Kathyryn Bigelow,  to direct it,  “the  Platoon of the Iraq War.” It beat Cameron’s Avatar for Best Film and Director on  March 7, 2010  –  the first woman to win either or both. “Well,  the time has come, ” proclaimed Barbra Streisand  presenting the directing award.  Only taken 81 years! 
  16. Cate Blanchett, Robin  Hood, 2008.    When Sienna Miller quit as as the maid, er widow Marion (sic), Charlize  was  among several Sherwood candidates: Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Annabelle Wallis, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet.
  17. Angelina Jolie, The Tourist, 2010.      Catherine Zeta-Jones   was first to sign – a 45 page contract!  – for the Hollywood re-make (aka ruination) of the neat little French thriller, Anthony Zimmer, 2004.   By 2008, the idea was Charlize and her 2001 Vanilla Sky co-star, Tom Cruise. They didn’t gell. Nor did Angelina and Johnny Depp on-screen. in this half-baked Bond. Not helped by an ex-007 in the cast: Timothy Dalton.
  18. Taylor Schilling, Atlas Shrugged: Part 12010.
  19. Naomi Watts, J  Edgar, 2010.   The director, a certain Clint Eastwood, asked her to play Helen Gandy. Charlize preferred  to be Snow White’s step-mother, the sorceress Ravenna in Snow White and the Huntsman.  What Clint would call a real mal paso. (Bad step). Amy Adams was  chosen and also quit, allowing Naomi  to become Helen Gandy, J Edgar Hoover’s loyal secretary for 54 years. a major influence on his  FBI and  keeper of his secrets. Clint called Amy back for his 66th and last acting gig,  Touble With The Curve, 2011. 
  20. Noomi Rapace, Prometheus, 2011. Theron switched roles to Meredith Vickers when Sir Ridley Scott beat all Hollywood to signing The Girl of the Hour – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in Sweden’s Millennium trilogy. Noomi also beat Gemma Arterton, Abbie Cornish, Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Olivia Wilde to the Alien prequel.
  21. Nicole Kidman, Grace of Monaco, 2012.      Also in the mix to play Grace Kelly were: Amy Adams, Elizabeth Banks, Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, Kate Hudson, January Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosamund Pike, Reese Witherspoon. But not Christina Applegate, the young Grace on TV in 1983 when Cheryl Ladd was the older. None of them resembled Her Serene Highness, but then nor did Tim Roth look like Prince Rainier. Theron shared kisses that year  in a Dior J’adore perfume commercial with a computerised Kelly.

  22. Elizabeth Debicki, The Man From UNCLE, 2013.   Theron (already resuscitating Mad Max) and Rose Byrne were in  the frame but  the Australian scene stealer in the 2012 Great Gatsby) became  the femme fatale Victoria Vinciguerra on July 31, 2013.
  23. Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl, 2013.    Emily Blunt, Abbie Cornish, Julianne  Hough, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman, Olivia Wilde, Reese Witherspoon were also discussed for Amy, who goes missing on her wedding anniversary. A great Briton won…
  24. Katherine Waterston,  Inherent Vice, 2014.   The known or a barely unknown?  Director Paul Thomas Anderson went from Theron  and Amy Adams to Sam Waterston’s lissome daughter for Shasta Fay Hepworth, an ex of Joaquin Phoenix’s private eye Doc Sportello –  in the the first Thomas Pynchon novel  to be filmed.  
  25. Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year, 2014.   Charlize had second thoughts about  being Anna in “New York’s most dangerous year of 1981.” For Chastain, one thought was enough. Let’s do it!
  26. Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl, 2015.    The role? Gerda Wegener, the Californian-born artist wife of Danish painter Einar Wegener . In 1930, he was one of the first men to surgically become a woman: Lili Elbe  First choice Charlize Theron dropped out in 2008. Gwyneth Paltrow moved in. but split for more family time. Uma Thurman entered the mix, then Edith Piaf – Marion Cotillard – in 2010. Rachel Weisz followed in 2011 and, finally, Vikander played Greta for UK director Tom Hooper… opposite Eddie Redmayne as her husband.
  27. Michelle Pfeiffer, Murder on the Orient Express,  2017.    Theron was first thought after Angelina Jolie was left on the platform (for insisting on significant script changes on “a relatively small part.” With Kenneth Branagh in charge (and as Hercule Poirot), the second star-packed passenger manifest left on Agatha Christie’s train.  Lauren Bacall  had been Mrs Hubbard in the 1974 version –  a huge success for such an old-fashioned whodunnit. (Psst!  They all did!).  Pfeiffer had already been booked for another Agatha whodunnit – a tune-up of Billy Wilder’s Witness for the Prosecution, by Pfeiffer’s husband, Ally McBeal-etc creator David E Kelley. I tend to doubt whether Michelle’s necessary Cockney would have been any better than that of Marlene  Dietrich in 1956.
  28. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns, 2017.   When Walt Disney made the first Poppins, he mused over Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury or Mary Martin for Mary but by 1963, he had only one star in mind. Julie Andrews.  For this reboot, Disney suits went through no less than 37 contenders… Two Desperate Housewives:Kristin Davis, Teri Hatcher. Two Friends:Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow. Two Brat Packers: Molly Ringwald, Winona Ryder.  Two of the three authors of The Penis Song: Christina Aplegate, Cameron Diaz. Three sirens: Kim Basinger, Heather Graham Uma Thurman. Four ex-child stars: Drew Barrymore, Alyssa Milano, Tatum O’Neal, Brooke Shields. Ten Oscar-winners: Sandra Bullock, Helen Hunt, Angelina Jolie, Julianne Moore, Tatum O‘Neal, Julia Roberts, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, RenéeZellweger. Plus: Patricia Arquette, Melanie Griffith, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Peiffer, Meg Ryan, Alicia Silverstone, Naomi Watts. But just two Brits: Kate Beckinsale  – and the winning Emily.
  29. Brie Larson, Captain Marvel, 2018.   It was a long wait but Marvel’s 21st feature was a Black Panther-style triumph since opening on International Women’s Day, 2019.  LA legends insist that when Angelina Jolie was asked to direct, she would bring Theron with her.  Next? Well, Carol Danvers was nearly played by Emily Blunt, Natalie Dormer, Rebecca Ferguson, Bryce Dallas Howard, wrestler Ronda Rousey, Katee Sackoff, the Handmaids Tale’s Yvonne Strahovski, Charlize Theron (when Angelina Jolie was invited to direct), Olivia Wilde or The Vikings’Katheryn Winnick. Then, Brie Larson made a 2015 film called Roomand won an award called Oscar.  That settled it for the Marvel chief called Kevin Feige. He lovesOscar winners, booking 18 for Marvel roles so far, such as Cate Blanchett, Michael Douglas, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman  – and Tilda Swinton,  who’s part of The Avengers: Endgame  with the Marvelous Brie.










 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  29