What Caused Charlize Theron’s Breathtaking Transformations?

The on-screen modification Theron’s performance as real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Patty Jenkins’ 2003 film, which earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress, is her most recognizable accomplishment. Theron remarked to SplicedWire that Wuornos was homeless as a child and gave birth to a child at the age of 13. “We never discussed it as a major goal, like ‘We’re going to gain 30 pounds,'” she said. “It was not about gaining weight. Aileen was not obese. Aileen had scars on her body as a result of her lifestyle, and if I had gone to make this film with my body—physically, I’m very athletic—I’m not sure I would have felt the same things as Aileen. It was about reaching a point where I felt closer to Aileen’s way of life. I didn’t want to see my natural muscle when I looked at my body. This would have completely thrown me off when attempting to be her.”

She eschewed a wig in favor of hairstylist Katie Swanson distressing Theron’s own tresses to achieve Wuornos’ disheveled mane, and had her eyebrows bleached and thinned to almost nothing. Though it may appear that she is wearing a full-face mask of plastic, the only prosthetics used were to make Theron’s eyelids heavier, and the entire process took about an hour. Toni G airbrushed layers of translucent washes of tattoo ink, textured with green marble sealant, to give Theron’s face a weathered, hard-life appearance, while Art Sakamoto created dentures with stained, crooked teeth. Additionally, she wore brown contacts to conceal her blue eyes.  Theron told Winfrey in 2005, “By the time we began the makeup and hair tests, we were so used to my [Aileen’s] face.” “I wore it for the majority of my time on set. I would always wear Aileen’s clothes and style my hair as she would, so the crew came to recognize me as Aileen. Regarding her weight, she stated, “I just thought, ‘I’ll see how much I can gain.'” Fortunately, the process began during the holiday season, which was ideal. I finished all of the desserts.”

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