Charlize Goes Ape

South Africa native Charlize Theron was born to play opposite a cuddly 15-foot-tall gorilla in the remake of “Mighty Joe Young.” “I chased and chased after this part, because it reminded me so much of my own life,” Theron said in Sunday’s New York Daily News. “I was an only child raised on a farm in South Africa. I entertained myself through my relationships with animals, particularly my pet goat, Bok. He used to sleep with me in my bed.” The 23-year-old actress (whose film credits include “That Thing You Do,” “The Devil’s Advocate” and “Celebrity”) was a Milan model and aspiring ballet dancer before moving to Hollywood. She appears nude on the cover of this month’s Vanity Fair, draped only by a white mink coat. Theron’s South African accent was seen as a liability by casting agents. She said she got rid of it “by leaving the TV on 24 hours a day. A constant diet of ‘The Love Boat’ and ‘Dallas’ will do the trick.”

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