Michael Kovac/WireImage/AP
July 22, 2015 12:55 PM

Charlize Theron is no stranger to real-life shark sightings.

The South African actress says that, as a child, she used to swim in the same waters where surfer Mick Fanning was attacked by a shark on Monday during a televised surfing competition in Jeffreys Bay.

Fortunately for Theron, 39, there was always someone with a whistle to warn beach-goers to quickly return to shore.

“You would come out and watch [the sharks] swim by,” she said, speaking at the Los Angeles premiere of her upcoming movie Dark Places, sponsored by Apothic Wines and Svedka. “I never had anything by my feet … Maybe they were, I don’t know,” she added with a laugh.

Watch: What It’s like to Take a Selfie with a Shark

Looking back on the experience, Theron, who is now a mom to son Jackson, 3, finds the whole experience rather unnerving.

“It was just weird, because I saw that [Fanning’s attack], and it was like a memory came back to me, and I went, ‘Oh my God Now that I’m an adult, now that I have my own kid, I’m just like, ‘What were my parents thinking?’ ”

Theron says her parents were quite casual about it. “They were like, ‘Oh, it’s okay, just go and have fun at the beach!’ ”

Good thing she heard that whistle!

Dark Places hits theaters on Aug. 7.

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