Kicking ass takes great dedication. Sometimes the ass-kicking means taking more hits than you give, and Atomic Blonde star Charlize Theron has the grit to do so. Theron isn't a stranger to taking badass roles, having played the awesome Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road and a fantastic villain in The Fate of the Furious. In her latest espionage actioner, Theron takes her skills to the next level by doing her own stunts.
Charlize Theron Suffered Multiple Injuries During Training
Theron underwent rigorous training to do her own stunts in the film, especially for the fight sequences. In a recent interview with Variety, she recounted painful experiences, having cracked two of her teeth by clenching too hard. (She also twisted her knee and bruised a rib.)
It happened the first month of training. I had severe tooth pain, which I never had in my entire life. Having to cut one of the teeth out and root canals. It was tough. You want to be in your best fighting shape, and it’s hard... I had the removal and I had to put a donor bone in there to heal until I came back, and then I had another surgery to put a metal screw in there.
Theron's training for Atomic Blonde is nothing short of amazing. She has transformed in the past with her role in Patty Jenkins' Monster, for which she won the Best Actress Oscar, but this is an entirely different sort of work.
Theron Isn't Only The Actor Doing Her Own Stunts
Actors doing their own stunts often comes from pure devotion to a project, and the risks they take are often worthwhile. Theron isn’t the first actor to do her own stunts by a long shot, nor to finding rewards doing so. But she is one of the few female stars to pull it off, joining the ranks of Jackie Chan, The Matrix cast, and Tom Cruise – to name just a few.
The Matrix stars have an impressive history with stunts (and injuries). Keanu Reeves spent six months training in martial arts and weaponry for The Matrix and sequels. He suffered a neck injury, but what he found rewarding was his growing love for martial arts. Hugo Weaving injured his knee training alongside Reeves. He was still eager to rejoin the cast, after his recovery, to finish his scenes.
Tom Cruise never ceases to amaze fans with his stunts. His fight sequences in Mission: Impossible II were inspired by Bruce Lee. He'll continue his awe-inspiring work in the next sequel, which is shooting now. We'll have to see who inspires him next.
Jackie Chan is the number one actor who puts his body on the line for pure passion, and the results are jaw-dropping. In retrospect, the actor always claimed that the stunts are for his love for practicality in film.
How Atomic Blonde Can Inspire Future Passion Projects
2017 has been a great year for badass female characters, most notably Wonder Woman. Atomic Blonde will hopefully be an even more gritty addition. It may rival the action in Wonder Woman with its John Wick style, especially with director David Leitch behind the camera.
Theron has mentioned that this film is a passion project for her, and with the John Wick team and their stunt company 87eleven behind the action, Atomic Blonde looks to take the meaning of passion to a whole new level. The actress spent the last five years – no small amount of time – developing the project with her production company, Denver and Delilah Productions.
Her desire to make a bold action film featuring a female lead could inspire other women that find it hard to be cast in good roles. Variety says Theron's A-list status wasn't even leading to roles in films like this:
Even an A-list star like Theron wasn’t being courted for tentpole action pictures until power agent Bryan Lourd slipped her the script to “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and she met with director George Miller for the part of the one-armed Imperator Furiosa.
Atomic Blonde has the potential to set new standards for action, both on screen and behind the scenes. With her involvement as producer and star of the film, the actress has complete control for how her role should be treated. Let's hope that other actors like #CharlizeTheron could find passion in their own projects.
Atomic Blonde will kick ass on July 28, 2017.