This week we are shining the spotlight on Charlize Theron, not that she needs any light to make her shine any brighter. The Cold War spy thriller Atomic Blonde is released in Australian cinemas tomorrow (Aug 3rd) and I’m as giddy as a school girl at a Justin Bieber concert for this one. Check out our video review here, but before you do that let’s travel back to the 90’s and follow her transformation through to now.

Fast Cuts

Taylor Hackford’s thriller The Devils Advocate, starring Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino was when we first really got a look at this South African beauty’s talent, after some minor roles in Tom Hank’s That Thing You Do and crime comedy 2 Days in the Valley. Early on in her career, she established herself as the go-to onscreen beauty; as Candy Kendall in Cider House Rules, the girlfriend of Ben Affleck in Reindeer Games, and Donald Sutherland’s stoic daughter in the otherwise iffy The Italian Job remake. Things turned ugly (in more ways than one) for her Oscar winning role in the Patty Jenkins directed true crime biography Monster. She followed that up with anotherglamorous turn asBritt Ekland in the Peter Sellers biopic The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers.

She’s taken a turn into fantasy and sci-fi, in Snow White And The Huntsman and Prometheus, trodden the well-worn dramatic territory that is expected of an award winner in North County (picking up another Oscar nomination) and In The Valley Of Elah. She’s recently hit her stride as an action heroine; in 2015 she played the fierce Furiosa in George Miller’s most recent Mad Max film, Fury Road (and I can not wait for her to reprise the role), and she followed that up with a villain role in The Fate Of The Furious and now Atomic Blonde.

You’re Saying it Wrong!

Charlize Theron wants you to know you have been saying her name wrong, don’t forget her background is Afrikaans, it’s not The-ron it’s more “thrown”.

Monster Change

We have to take a moment to mention Monster, whether you were happy with the casing or annoyed by it, the film changed her career. Written and directed by Wonder Woman‘s Patty Jenkins, Monster is the true story of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, the Daytona Beach prostitute that had an abrupt change of career and became a serial killer. Theron put on 30 pounds, had to wear a prosthetic nose and is completely unrecognisable. She faced some backlash over a comment she made about how hard it was for people expected to be glamourous getting “real” roles, it didn’t take people long to poke fun online about how it must be hard being so pretty. Despite any of this the movie is amazing, and Theron deserved the Oscar she received for her powerful performance.

Career Lowpoint

Theron’s first foray into sci-fi did not go well, with the bizarre and barely understandable AEon Flux. With a film this bad it is hard to pin point exactly what went wrong, but it’s much easier to just say everything went wrong and move on. Points for trying though.

Essential Viewing

This is a toughie, I love Theron in everything (AEon Flux not included obviously) and fork out my hard earned cash left, right, and centre to see her in films, but my recommendation here goes to her slumming it as Anna to Seth McFarlane’s Albert in A Million Ways to Die in the West.

That about wraps it up for this edition of Spotlight On. Are you an Charlize Theron fan? What is your essential viewing? Or do you just like looking at her? Each to their own. Let us know in the comments below!