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10+ Cool Things About Charlize Theron Fans Didn't Know

Charlize Theron.

You know her from Mad Max: Fury Road and from creating one of the most-famous Oscar selfies of all time, but there's so much more to this star than beats the eye.

For instance, did you know that she was discovered in a bank? Or that she had a traumatic childhood? For more, here are 10+ cool things about the star.

1. She is actually South Africian:

Instagram | @charlizeafrica

The Young Adult actress was born in Benoni, South Africa on August 7th, 1975.

She grew up on a farm where she spent her childhood taking care of animals and feeding livestock.

2. She had a really traumatic childhood:

The actress has overcome a lot. When she was a kid, her mother killed her father in self-defense.

This happened when her abusive alcoholic father came home intoxicated and threatened her mother with a gun.

3. She was discovered thanks to a shouting match:

Instagram | @charlizeafrica

She was broke and living in Hollywood when she went to Hollywood Boulevard bank to cash a check. It was one her mother sent to help with the rent.

But when the teller refused to cash it, she started yelling at him.

This caught the attention of talent agent John Crosby, who was in line behind her.

Instagram | @charlizeafrica

He handed her his business card and helped get her into the world of acting by introducing her to casting agents and acting school.

What luck, am I right?

4. Fans have been saying her name wrong for years:

Instagram | @charlizeafrica

This is how most of us pronounce the South African actress's name: Char-leez Te-ey-ron.

But get this: it's actually pronounced Shar-LEES THAIR-en. Turns out, we've been pronouncing a lot of celebs' names wrong for some time.

5. She used to be a dancer:

Instagram | @charlizeafrica

She even thought that she'd become a professional ballerina:

"I was a ballerina from the time I was four years old and I thought that's what I'd always do. I left South Africa at 16 and studied abroad and supported myself by modelling," she told Notebook magazine.

"I ended up in New York and soon realised that my career was over and my knees had said goodbye to me and I'd never thought of a plan B."

Instagram | @charlizeafrica

Thankfully, her mom encouraged her to consider acting.

"And it sounds so ridiculous, but she then said, 'You know, I hear they make those movies in Los Angeles, you should go. You don't want to be 80 and on your deathbed and wonder what could have been.' And boy, was she right. So I owe her a lot."

6. She was never engaged to Sean Penn:

This is a famous rumor that followed the pair's high-profile relationship for years.

Charlize finally set the record straight while on The Howard Stern Show.

"What? That’s not true. no," she said.

"I did not 'almost get married to Sean', that’s such [expletive]," she continued.

"No, we dated, that was literally all we did, we dated. It was a relationship, for sure. We were definitely exclusive, but it was for barely a year."

At least she cleared it up!

7. She doesn't want to get married:

Instagram | @charlizeafrica

“Let’s put it this way: I never had the dream of the white dress," she told Vogue.

"And watching other people getting married? I think it’s beautiful for them, but to be quite honest, usually I’m sitting there just devastated."

8. She has two beautiful adopted children that she loves dearly:

Instagram | @charlizeafrica

Their names are August, 3, and Jackson, 7.

In 2010, she told People that adoption was always her "first choice. "My kids make me laugh like nobody’s business," she said.

9. Her mother co-parents the kids with her:

Instagram | @charlizeafrica

She's always been super close with her mom, Greta.

"To not acknowledge her in coparenting my children would be a lie," she once told Elle.

"I knew that I would have to have my mom help me if I was going to do this as a single parent."

10. She took a viral selfie at the 2020 Oscars:

Instagram | @charlizeafrica

Move over, Ellen! There's a new viral selfie in town!

Her star-studded selfie featured Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, Salma Hayek, Regina King, and Rami Malek. It will definitely go down in history.

11. She's raising Jackson as a boy:

Instagram | @charlizeafrica

This decision stirred up a lot of controversy.

Theron recalled the moment that Jackson told her she was a girl to the Daily Mail.

"Yes, I thought she was a boy, too," Theron said.

"Until she looked at me when she was three years old and said: 'I am not a boy!'"

Instagram | @charlizeafrica

"So there you go! I have two beautiful daughters who, just like any parent, I want to protect and I want to see thrive. And I will do everything in my power for my kids to have that right and to be protected within that."

12. Mario Lopez took issue with Charlize's parenting decision:

YouTube | Candace Owens Show/Prager U

When the talk show host was on The Candace Owens Show, he said that it was "dangerous" for parents to let kids choose their gender.

"My God, if you're 3 years old, I just think it's dangerous as a parent to make this determination then."

He continued:

"It's sort of alarming and my gosh, I just think about the repercussions later on. I think parents need to allow their kids to be kids, but at the same time, you gotta be the adult in the situation."

13. She used to have a major feud with Tom Hardy:

Instagram | @charlizeafrica

The frenemies first clashed on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road.

Their co-star, Zoë Kravitz, even confirmed the feud while on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.

“Yeah…They didn’t get along,” she said about her co-stars.

Instagram | @charlizeafrica

“We were also in the desert for so long. I think everyone was tired and confused and homesick and we saw nothing but sand for six months. It’s just, you go crazy, you do.”