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Charlize Theron has whupped her fair share of butt on the big screen before, most famously as the one-armed warrior Furiosa in 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. But the South African actress took her badassery to whole new planes while getting her hand-to-hand combat on in the new action thriller Atomic Blonde.
“I had moments that were really daunting,” Theron told Yahoo Movies (watch above). “I haven’t done that much in the genre, and I feel like every single one is always a little different. In Mad Max all of the physicality was built around having one arm missing. So this time around it was that the character would find herself in a corner and would have to fight her way out of a building or out of a situation.”
Those situations called on Theron to be “throwing big dudes” throughout the course of the film, in which her MI-6 agent Lorraine Broughton is dispatched to Berlin to sniff out a turncoat. “Because the guy is too big, you have to use your whole body weight in order to get him down… You have to throw your entire body back first onto the floor. And that just feels so wrong, I can’t even tell you… So to trust that you’re not going to break your back or fracture your skull — which are all really nice things to think about — that was scary. I think that was more [in] my mind than physically being able to do it.”
And Theron pulled off many of the most intense sequences in the not-so-stunt-friendly apparel. “We do an entire fight scene in high heel boots and garter belts and a miniskirt,” she said. “The idea was something that we loved but to actually put that on a body that’s doing an entire fight scene where she’s kicking five guys in the balls… That’s a different reality.”
Atomic Blonde is now in theaters. Watch Charlize Theron reveal the correct pronunciation of her name:
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