Lots of celebrities have strayed past Spanish's mic, for he is after all, the Larry King of OUTSIDELEFT. Few have charmed and entertained us as Charlize Theron. Oscar touted for her role in The Astronaut's Wife, once you learn how to pronounce her name, you never want it to be far from your lips... Keep the shoes on, Charlize!
Let's clear up the question on everyone's mind right away: What's the official pronunciation of your name?
Shar-lease Thair-en. People can't say my last name at all.
You were raised in a dorp in Benoni, South Africa. What's a dorp?
It's actually Afrikaans for "a tiny little town." I lived in farmlands, and my best friend was a goat. Kids came to school on donkeys. I had a horse, but I didn't take her to school. I was a tomboy and a glamour puss. I'd be swinging from the trees and getting all oily from trees and working as a mechanic with my dad, and then I'd go into my mom's closet and get all the gowns out and put on the high heels and put on the lipstick and pretend I was like Diana Ross.
What was it like when you moved to Milan at 16 to become a model?
I did shows and photo shoots, but I could not book a commercial. Even after I did 2 Days In The Valley and That Thing You Do, I was still going out for commercials, 'cause I was poor as hell. Ton Hanks would hire me before some casting director for some stupid sanitary napkin would. How sad is that?
Work is work I suppose. You've lived on both sides of the U.S. The question stands: East or West?
When I was studying ballet with the Joffery in New York, it was a little hard for me. The traffic, the amount of people, everything just stank of urine, and there's not a tree anywhere, the birds are just like depressed. I moved to LA about 5 years ago, and from the first day, I felt very much at home, (laughs) because I'm blond, I have fake lips, and I have big boobs. I swear to God, at the premiere for 2 Days, this guy came up to me and said, "I'm Dr. So-and-So. Who did your lips?" And I was like, "You must be a great fucking doctor to think I have collagen-injected lips when I don't."
Don't be offended by this next question, but in 2 Days, you explored the use of ice cubes during sex. Have you ever done that in real life?
(laughs) What kind of question is that? I think I've kissed with ice in my mouth! But no, no guy has ever iced his family jewels like James Spader did in that movie.
Is there anything better than an orgasm?
Apparently, it's biochemicially exactly the same as eating a large amount of chocolate. See, men wanna hear stuff like that. I can be fake and say "Oh God, no, there's nothing better than an orgasm." But you know what? A walk through Central Park will do just as well.
But I thought you said you kinda hated New York and all its trappings...
OK then, Santa Monica's boardwalk.
Have you ever done it on the beach?
No. Oh, the drink? (laughs) Yes, I've had that. Candy in a glass, my friend.
Here's a toughie. In light on the MTV awards this week: Backstreet Boys or 'Nsync?
Mmmm, that is a tough one. I have to side with the Backstreet Boys though. They're a bit more on the bad boy side. That little blond boy is kind of a heartbreaker. I'm a sucker for blond guys.
I bet you've left you share of broken hearts around the world.
Not really. When I moved out here I was in a relationship for about a year, and it kinda ended a short time ago. It's not fair for me to lead anybody on, because I just don't have too much time right now. I'm working. If I had any time to scratch my ass, I would.
Your bio says you learned to speak like an American by watching the Love Boat and Dallas. What American customs mystify you?
The US Customs agents (laughs). Those people just really boggle my mind. They actually get to go home and say "Hey Honey, I got to give a South African chick a lot of shit and deport her!" Last year I went home to South Africa, and the return trip to New York took 24 hours. Six hours later, they put me on a flight back. I said, do you know that I'm doing a movie with Johnny Depp? They were like, "Whatever. Get on the plane, lady."
I hear that movie (The Astronaut's Wife) could be up for Oscar contention. What do you think?
Ha-ha! I wouldn't go that far. It's good, but that's stretching it a bit. I do get to be in a film with Johnny Depp though and that was pretty cool. I'm very, very lucky. I've been doing so much press for it these past few weeks, it's totally fucking exhausting. I'm ten minutes late for a E! [Television] interview for it. I'm gonna have to haul ass pretty soon. (laughs) My mother is always saying, "Watch the language, young lady." For some reason, I love profanity, especially the phrase, "Fuck me."
Is that an expression of disbelief or a command?
It just depends on the situation I guess.