Charlize Theron Realized 'Aeon Flux' Would 'Flop' While Making It: 'Definitely Knew We Were in Trouble'

Charlize Theron said her early realization that 2005's Aeon Flux wasn't working led her to her guest role on Arrested Development

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Charlize Theron in Aeon Flux (2005). Photo: Jasin Boland/Paramount/Mtv/Kobal/Shutterstock

Charlize Theron said she "knew it from the beginning" that her 2005 action movie Aeon Flux would not do well at the box office.

The actress, 47, told The Hollywood Reporter that she quickly realized the sci-fi action movie, directed by Karyn Kusama, "was going to be a f---ing flop," which led her to take a guest role in the sitcom Arrested Development shortly after.

"This is going to sound so 'poor me,' but I do feel like sometimes, as women, we get one shot and I knew that Aeon Flux was going to be a f---ing flop," Theron said of the movie, which came just one year after she received an Oscar for her performance in 2003's Monster. "I knew it from the beginning, that's why I did Arrested Development."

Asked how she reacts in an on-set situation where she realizes a movie "isn't working," Theron told the outlet she will "fight until the bitter end."

"I don't know if I had the answers for how to [fix it], but I definitely knew we were in trouble," she said of Aeon Flux, which made just $53.3 million worldwide on a $62 million budget, according to BoxOfficeMojo. "I wasn't a producer on it, and I didn't really have the experience to say what I believe Tom Cruise has maybe said for the past 20 years, which is, 'Shut this s--- down, get four more writers on it and let's figure this out.' "

"Instead, I'm going, 'Oh God, I've just got to get through this day, I have bronchitis, but let's keep shooting,' " Theron added.

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Charlize Theron on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter. Chrisean Rose for The Hollywood Reporter

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"Now I imagine all these male actors going, 'Shut it down for six months!' And it's like, f---, no one told me that was an option," she added.

Aeon Flux also starred Sophie Okonedo, Frances McDormand, Pete Postlethwaite, Marton Csokas and Jonny Lee Miller.

Asked about her penchant for making action films, Theron told THR she understands "the idea of wanting to tell an emotional story through physicality."

"This is going to sound f---ed up, but the narrative responsibility that I feel physically when I do these movies almost weighs heavier on me than when I do a [2019's Bombshell]," she said. "There's an easier storytelling aspect to that than sometimes there is to, 'Oh, it's [based on] a graphic novel about immortals,' " like her 2020 film The Old Guard.

"There's something so f---ing challenging about that because it's not on the nose and it's not easy," Theron added.


"But it's also not being tough for the sake of being tough," she added. "And, again, I like the backbreaking part. I like being in the gym for eight hours."

Theron noted that her participation in action movies can lead to injuries, including a shoulder surgery she said she underwent "two weeks ago."

"We just wrapped the sequel to Old Guard, where I was hanging off the side of a helicopter," she said. "I so wish that was the story. Instead, it was during training. I was learning to sword fight."

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