There Is Only One Way To Write A Charlize Theron Profile

Oh, is it time for another Charlize Theron profile? In which we will learn that she consumes alcohol and uses swears and ? It's been like three months since the last one, and easily scandalized editors seem to still be surprised that a woman could drink and say "fuck," so why not? In fact, looking back over the long list of past Charlize Theron profiles, in men's magazines and in women's, it's pretty clear: there's only one way to profile Charlize Theron. The elements of the ur-text, as best as we can determine, are as follows:

Write about how she — gasp — drinks.

Vogue, December, 2011:

There's also sake, poured in wooden boxes filled to the brim, so that one has no choice but to lean over, inelegantly dip one's nose, and slurp it like a Labrador retriever. Which now I do.

Theron laughs loudly. "That's why I ordered it," she says. "To make you do that."

Esquire, November, 2007:

The waiter brings her drink. She squeezes the lime, licks the juice from her fingers.

Esquire, October, 1999:

But at the end of the day, she's had enough, and she nearly crawls to the bar for a drink. For the camera, she has been playing a role, the sinewy, half-dressed starlet, the young blond bombshell, the metamorphosed version of herself. And now she's tired. She wants to relax, to be the other Charlize, the real one, the one who longs to go camping, to feel the mud between her toes. She props her elbows on the counter, hooks her heels into the stool, and barks, "Gimme a shot of Patron," which she drains in an instant, ordering another, then another, then a beer, her eyes on the counter.

Vogue, October, 2007:

Theron, as I discovered a few years ago, when I interviewed her in Berlin, is an unrepentant pleasure seeker. She is not afraid of a juicy steak or a shot of tequila, and she gives no quarter to those who think we ought to feel any guilt whatsoever about our measured enjoyment of such things.

Marie Claire, October, 2005:

"At the Golden Globes, my mother couldn't talk to me ‑- that's how nervous she was," Theron says. "I was like, 'Okay, either we need to get wasted right now or something has to change.'"

And better mention smoking, too, while you're at it.

Esquire, October, 2008 (did we mention this story is, for some reason that no doubt seemed awfully clever to the writer at the time, relayed to us in the form of a screenplay? Well, it is!):

WRITER

I bought you cigarettes.

CHARLIZE

No, you didn't. You did! I quit. Well, I'm quitting.

WRITER

Oh, Jesus. What fun is a long conversation without cigarettes?

CLOSE ON CHARLIZE's mouth, her lips bent in her particular smile, sexy and knowing, a little bit leering, just sweet enough that you feel wont to assume some connection, some secret between you. This is the big trick of sexiness. The big lie. But it's no trick at all for her. She bites down on the pack of cigarettes and unspools the cellophane with her teeth, a luscious and familiar dissection.

CHARLIZE

Now you're bad.

Vogue, October, 2007:

Standing around in seventies-vintage chaps and a cowboy hat and smoking a cigarette, she looks like the foxiest Marlboro Girl ever to ride into town.

Vogue, December, 2011:

Theron quit smoking a while ago but refuses to go into detail of how she did it, not wanting to jinx it. "I was highly addicted," she confesses. "I thought, I don't smoke like normal people. I smoke to die."

Quote Shirley MacLaine.

Vogue, December, 2011:

"For a woman that beautiful and that intelligent, she has a very down-to-earth approach to life," says Shirley Mac­Laine, who befriended Theron after an awards ceremony in which an awestruck Theron planted a playful kiss on MacLaine's behind. "She has opted for simplicity, and that is a very wise choice."

Esquire, November, 2007:

"I'd say [we talk] at least twice a month. We talk quite a bit about the trials and tribulations of producing. Being a woman, an actress, and a producer...she's always very honest. Not too many people are that honest in this town, because they don't want it to get back to them."

Include a scene where Theron and the writer are chased by paparazzi.

Vogue, December, 2011:

Theron mostly manages to duck the paparazzi. She avoids the usual celebrity hangouts, declines to play the game. "Some people are really into that world, of being photographed, being at the party, being with the guy, being in the Bentley," she says. "Good for them, because it's so entertaining to watch. It's just not me."

Of course, just as she finishes saying this, a photographer surfaces from the bushes.

Esquire, November, 2007:

CHARLIZE pinches her eye shut against a waft of smoke.

CHARLIZE

What choice do I have? I can't go anywhere. Not if we want to talk. This is L.A. I mean, if you can find me some taco place, a place where we can go, sit around, drink beers, argue politics, and be left alone, then take me there. I'll go with you. I'm yours. Those places don't exist for me. There aren't any little joints for me.

Vogue, October, 2007:

"You know," [the waiter] says, "you've got photographers outside."

"Do you have any rat poison?" she says, not missing a beat. Then, turning to me, "I swear this is not usually part of my life." Theron's car has been pulled around to a side street so that she can exit out the back. But it is too late. As we head out the gate, there is a violent burst of yelling, shoving, and clicking shutters — about ten paparazzi. The valet gets pushed and kicked while getting out of Theron's car. The photographers disperse, and Theron pulls away in her black SUV. At the stop sign, she rolls down her window and calls out to the valet. He runs over, and she hands him some money and thanks him, apologizing profusely. As he walks back to the restaurant's parking lot, rubbing the back of his leg, he mutters, almost to himself, "You gotta be tough to be a movie star."

Bonus: Include a scene where the writer wonders if, in light of the paparazzi pictures, people will think he's dating Theron.

Vogue, December, 2011:

Theron sighs ruefully. "Now we're dating," she says to me. "You are going to be part of the rumor mill now. Dude, me and you are totally doing it."

(A prospect fine by me and comical to my wife but surely mortifying for Theron.)

Quote Theron swearing. Note: if magazine too prim to print "fuck," it will suffice to mention that Theron swears.

Vogue, December, 2011:

I stop counting the F-bombs after 50.

On co-star Kristen Stewart:

"There's this really lovely quality about her that just doesn't give a fuck. A lot of people say they don't, but then they go home and cry and pop a Xanax. Kristen actually doesn't give a fuck. That's what's so refreshing about her."

Esquire, November, 2007:

"People still say, "What do you know? You're an African." But they said that to me in Africa, too. "Go back to Europe." But I fucking told them I was an African. I know what I am now, too. I'm American. I will fucking say it, too. I grew up in a country that learned the lesson that you can't impose your way of life on twenty-six different kinds of people just because you call yourself righteous. I think there are lessons this country still has to learn. Doesn't mean they can't be learned."

"Fuck regret. Just fuck it."

CHARLIZE

People read that you have a drink, or God forbid, you have a cigarette in your hand while you're drinking, and all of a sudden you're falling apart.

WRITER

Nobody says you're falling apart.

CHARLIZE

And if you say the word fuck once, they don't let go of it.

Vogue, October, 2007:

"What are you going to write about? 'Charlize Theron: Still an asshole?'"

Marie Claire, October, 2005:

"I think when you put forth a certain kind of attitude, people don't fuck with you."

Add in a little boilerplate objectification — either of the woman herself (men's magazine option) or of whatever expensive labels she's been dressed in (women's magazine option) — and you have your Charlize Theron profile. Submit to any editor for instant approval!

Interestingly, Charlize Theron comes across in these various stories as quick-witted, clever, and likable. (Also: astute when it comes to the magazine "game" — she teases Esquire's writer about how he's going to dumb her down.) Not to mention politically informed. Why are magazines still accepting paint-by-numbers profiles of her?

Breaking Away: Charlize Theron [Vogue]
Charlize Theron: At Home On The Range [Vogue]
Charlize Theron Is The Sexiest Woman Alive [Esquire]
The Education Of Charlize Theron [Esquire]
The Sexiest Woman Alive 2007, Part Three [Esquire]
Charlize Theron: Nobody's Fool [Marie Claire]