The Daytona 500, which kicked off the NASCAR season Sunday, is the equivalent of the sport’s Super Bowl. So it’s no surprise that it was able to attract an A-lister like Charlize Theron to be the race’s honorary starter (it also helps, of course, that she a new movie, Gringo, to promote).
Theron thoroughly enjoyed her appearance, posting a pic on Instagram and Twitter and insisting, “Had such a blast at the Daytona 500! Thanks for having me as your Honorary Starter — hope my flag waving did you proud! At least I didn’t drop it.”
Everyone loved having her in Florida. The photographers:
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) February 18, 2018
The pit reporters:
— Shannon Spake (@ShannonSpake) February 18, 2018
The Thunderbirds, who did the pre-race flyover:
— Thunderbirds (@AFThunderbirds) February 18, 2018
The person handling social media for Gringo:
— Gringo (@gringomovie) February 18, 2018
This guy who couldn’t keep his eyes on the track:
— Paul Brooks (@BrooksToday) February 18, 2018
Fox, which also put her to work introducing the drivers:
.@CharlizeAfrica wants to introduce you to a few of her FAST friends.
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 18, 2018
Theron, who loved to race go-karts when she was young, also made headlines for reminding reporters that she drove circles around her male co-stars in F. Gary Gray’s 2003 remake of The Italian Job. She said the director of the film suggested she do two more weeks of driving school. “And I was like ‘Than the boys? That’s a little sexist.’ So then I really went for it, and I think one of the actors puked at one point. And like one went home. They were all just a bunch of pussies,” she said. “It was Mark Wahlberg. … He’s going to kill me.”
Gray learned his lesson — and cast her in 2017’s The Fate of the Furious.
Gringo hits theaters March 9. Watch the trailer:
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