Charlize Theron has revealed she was criticised by financiers when they realised she had gained a considerable amount of weight for her Oscar-winning performance in Monster.
The actor was showered with awards for her portrayal of real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the 2003 film from Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins.
Speaking as part of a roundtable chat between producers in The Hollywood Reporter, Theron said she believes the financiers thought they were “paying for a hot lesbian movie” and were shocked to see what the actor had done with her appearance.
Theron said one of the financier’s wives pointed out her radical 30-pound weight gain and that she received a 3am call from him when the dailies started to come in.
She said: “He was like: ‘What are you doing? You never smiled. You look so angry, you look horrible.’
“So you panic a little bit because you are putting yourself out there, and you are taking a risk, and when you do that, you are not a hundred percent sure. You are taking a chance.
“So there is a part of you that second-guesses, right? And you are like: ‘S**t, well, maybe I did go too far with this.’
“Then you realise you have to stand that ground.”
Read more: Theron lands on Hollywood highest-paid list
Theron’s decision was vindicated when the film, which she co-produced, went on to become a critical and commercial success.
Legendary critic Roger Ebert called her work “one of the greatest performances in the history of the cinema”.
Theron is currently promoting her work as actor-producer on Fox News drama Bombshell, in which she stars alongside Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie.
The film follows the allegations of sexual misconduct against the organisation’s founder Roger Ailes.
It’s a project which almost collapsed at the eleventh hour when original studio backers Annapurna pulled out two weeks before shooting was due to begin.
Read more: First trailer for Bombshell
“We had no window on the other side of it,” said Theron. “So if the film fell through, we would have had to recast the whole thing.”
She added: “And the moment that I heard about it was really shocking because [Annapurna] loved the film so much.”
Fortunately, Theron was able to make a deal with Bron Studios — with whom she previously worked on Tully — to rescue the film.
The movie will be hoping for awards season recognition, particularly given the strength of its ensemble cast.
Bombshell is due to arrive in UK cinemas on 24 January 2020.