Charlize Theron had to fight for different roles after she experienced her first breakthrough in Hollywood.
Just a couple of years after she moved to Los Angeles, the South African actress went from being an extra in Children of the Corn III to working on the 1996 crime thriller 2 Days in the Valley, for which she appeared on the poster in white lingerie.
After that breakthrough, she kept being sent scripts for the same character and she was determined not to keep repeating the same role over and over again.
“I was ready to do way more Children of the Corn IIIs. But then the other thing happened, which is that you have something that works, and then every audition is like, ‘We just want you to do that,'” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I think that actors, instinctively, know that they want to challenge themselves and want to play things outside of who they are.
“For me, back then, it was a feeling of, ‘I don’t want to be in white lingerie again. I want to do something completely different.'”
Her management encouraged her to strike while the iron was hot and take every role that came her way but she refused to take that approach as she wanted a long-term strategy.
“I had a manager at the time who was like, ‘You have an offer to do Naked Gun and a Half II’ or something, and I was like, ‘Yeah, no, I don’t want to do that.’ He was all, ‘You’ll never work again. Who do you think you are?’ And I was like, ‘You’re right. I am nobody. But something tells me I shouldn’t do that,'” she recalled. “I was constantly thinking about, ‘How do I make this last?’ And if you can keep surprising audiences, you might get the job.”
– Cover Media