Charlize Theron is setting the record straight about those Wonder Woman rumors — and revealing that the actual story is a lot more shocking than fans realized. During a recent appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Theron said she was offered the role of Wonder Woman‘s mother in the superhero film, despite being only 9 years older than star Gal Gadot.
After a caller asked the Oscar winner if she really turned down the chance to play the legendary superhero on the big screen, Theron clarified things, saying, "I did not turn the role of Wonder Woman down." As it turns out, she was never offered the role of Diana of Themyscira in the first place: "This is a great of example of how Hollywood slaps you in the face once you start aging," Theron explained.
"So somebody had said to me, ‘Oh, there’s action on this thing, Wonder Woman, we just want to make you aware of it,’" she said. "And I was like, ‘I’m just not familiar with it, what does Wonder Woman do?’ And this person said, ‘No, it’s for Wonder Woman’s mom.’" While you might be shocked to hear that this is the role the actor was offered, Theron laughed it off. Though did she say the incident helped her realize how the entertainment industry sees her, now that she’s over the age of 40.
"It was like the defining moment where I crossed over and I wasn’t fully aware of it," Theron said, while Cohen joked that next, she’ll be offered the role of Aunt May in Spider-Man. The role of Diana’s mother, Hippolyta, was eventually played by Connie Neilson, who at 53, is only a decade older than Theron herself.
While Theron’s version of Hippolyta would, no doubt, have been just as badass and impressive as Neilson’s, it is shocking that, right after playing Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road — one of the most intense action heroines in recent years — Theron would be officially considered a "mother" rather than the hero. Sure, the Amazons in Themiscyra are otherworldly goddess-like creatures, so having Theron play one wouldn’t be that outrageous, but as she said, it does point out the sadly common fact that women in Hollywood are often considered old after a certain age and thus, less worthy of being a leading lady.
This Wonder Woman incident is far from the first time that Theron has spoken out about the way the entertainment industry treats women older than 40; in 2016, the actor slammed ageism in Hollywood, explaining that she feels more powerful and confident now than earlier in her career. "The time has come for women to realize that the way we look outside is not the most important thing and it’s not true we are worth less when we age," she told Vanity Fair Italia at the time.
"Now that I’m 41 I work much more than 20 years ago, and I enjoy it even more. And all the women I know say the same thing, so it’s time to stop this cliché," she continued. "Movies are just the mirror of society; the real problem is there. Hollywood’s gender problem is nothing compared to the society’s problem."
The Oscar winner also told the outlet that she’s not afraid of aging, and, in fact, has decided to embrace getting older. "How could I be afraid of something so natural? Aging is part of our life, we can’t avoid that," Theron told the magazine. "And a part of me is really grateful for all the things that have happened since I started aging, now I’m much wiser than 20 years ago."
Hopefully, with women like Theron speaking out against society’s unfair treatment of women older than 40, things will begin to change, both onscreen and off.
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