If you didn’t see Charlize Theron in 2017’s Atomic Blonde, you definitely need to. It was arguably one of the most intense action films of the year, and one of the most physically demanding on the film’s lead Charlize Theron.
Unlike most action movie stars, Theron didn’t need to put on an aggressive amount of muscle to sell that she was secret agent – she needed to show that she could kick ass. In doing so, she embarked on one of the most intense cardio and combat driven workouts in the film industry.
Here are some great facts about Charlize’s experiences when making the flick:
1. She Was Injured Numerous Times During Training
Obviously when exercising for a role like this safety is the number 1 priority. However, given the brutal intensity of the sessions Theron had to go through, it was unlikely that she was going to make it out unscathed.
During her time preparing for the film, Charlize suffered from a twisted knee, bruised her ribs and cracked two teeth during training.
What’s more these cracked teeth caused her big problems, leading to her needing two root canals and multiple surgeries to get them right again.
2. The Sessions Were Long
In the build up to filming, Theron needed to be in the best shape of her life to play the spymaster Lorraine Broughton. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know about a particular fight scene that was physically exhausting just to watch.
So, just how intense was the training that Charlize went through for Atomic Blonde? Believe it or not, she was exercising 4 hours a day for 2 and a half months. No matter which way you slice it, that is absolutely brutal.
3. She Wasn’t Sure If She Could Get Into That Kind of Shape
One of Theron’s biggest problems was after filming the movie Tulley. For the role, Charlize needed to gain a whopping 35 lbs. After the film wrapped, she struggled to lose the weight.
However, after a conversation with her doctor, she was put back onto the right path. The bigger version of Charlize would’ve never dreamed that shortly after she would be slimming down even further to be an absolute fighting machine in Atomic Blonde.
4. Theron Had 8 Different Trainers
To become completely fluent in the language of combat, Theron needed a lot of training and experience. Fast. To do so, she was given 8 different combat instructors who all taught her varying disciplines of fighting.
She learned all kinds of fighting styles including a combination of boxing and wrestling.
5. She Was in Charge of Everything
A fact that not a lot people know is that Theron’s production company put together the film Atomic Blonde. She even recruited the director of John Wick, David Leitch to help with the fight scenes and direct.
That means that she was responsible for putting herself through this. She knew what it would take for her to go down this path of becoming an absolute fighting machine, and she was not scared to take the risk.
6. She Had Stunt Training
Another part of her sessions included Theron training to being able to work as a stunt woman. During the film Charlize did many of her own stunts which really put her body through it.
She needed to be as fit as possible, as many of the days shooting went on for as long as 20 hours. The physical demand on Theron despite being in her 40s must’ve been through the roof!
7. Being a Dancer Helped
In her youth, Charlize Theron had trained as a dancer. She believes that a lot of this helped with transferring over to the fighting scenes.
Her skills as a dancer gave her a high level of coordination that helped her with the fighting scenes.
8. The Training Made Her Hardcore
One of the things that Theron really showed during the making of Atomic Blonde was balls. During filming, Charlize caught the flu as they were filming in Budapest during the winter. This did not stop her.
True to the character that she was playing in the movie, Theron pushed through and filmed a fight scene all while she was suffering from a fever.
A truly admirable feat.
One of the main things that impresses us most about Charlize Theron’s fitness levels when filming Atomic Blonde is that she didn’t phone it in. It wasn’t just her looking good while a stunt-double did all the heavy lifting – she did as much as she could herself.
Training 4 hours a day for 2 and a half months, listening and performing under 8 fight coaches, and refusing to give up even when sick.
She is an inspiration and a fitness icon for sure.