Entertainment Movies Charlize Theron Says 'Early Tragedy' in Life Helped Her Realize 'You Don't Have Forever' Charlize Theron previously opened up about the life-changing moment at 15 when her father was killed By Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Website Jen Juneau is a News and Movies Staff Writer at PEOPLE. She started at the brand in 2016 and has more than 15 years' professional writing experience. People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 7, 2022 02:06 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Charlize Theron. Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Charlize Theron is fully in charge of her own life. The actress, 47, gave a wide-ranging interview to The Hollywood Reporter for the magazine's newest cover story, and revealed that she likes doing things for herself because "it's my life, and I want to participate in it." "One thing that early tragedy brought me is the realization that you don't have forever. You just don't," the Fast X actress said. "And it's easy to be like, 'Oh, it's one movie,' but then it's another movie and another." While she doesn't "want to sound like I'm carrying some message on my sleeve," Theron noted that she does "think for women, we worry [that] if we don't work harder and we don't keep pushing, we will never quite arrive." "And it is exhausting. I never feel like, 'Oh, I can just f---ing enjoy this,' " she admitted. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories. Charlize Theron on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter. Chrisean Rose for The Hollywood Reporter Charlize Theron Says Her Mom, Who Shot Her Dad in Self-Defense, "Made Me Brave" Theron also told THR that while it can be difficult, "you do get more perspective as you get older, and, at almost 50, it does get easier." "And my kids help," she said of daughters August, 7, and Jackson, 10. "I love being a mom more than I like being an actor or a producer. And I never thought I would say that. If somebody said to me tomorrow, 'You can't do both,' would I be sad to give up acting? Of course. But it would be a no-brainer for me." While the Oscar winner did not specify the "early tragedy" in her life during her interview with THR, she has been open in the past about the night her mother, Gerda, killed her father Charles in self-defense in June 1991 when Theron was 15. (No charges were filed.) Theron told NPR in December 2019 that Charles came into their home with a gun while intoxicated and "shot through the door three times" into a bedroom where Theron and Gerda had barricaded themselves, before "in self-defense, [my mom] ended the threat" by shooting Charles, killing him. "I'm not ashamed to talk about it, because I do think that the more we talk about these things, the more we realize we are not alone in any of it," Theron added. "I think, for me, it's just always been that this story is about growing up with addicts and what that does to a person." RELATED VIDEO: Charlize Theron Reveals Her Mom Supplies Her with Marijuana: "You Can't Have Her, She's All Mine" Today, Theron "loves(s) hanging out with" her mom — to the point where some people say the two "have such an unhealthy relationship." "I'm like, 'If you can be as funny as her, then I'll hang out with you,' " the Bombshell actress told THR. Theron went on to say that she "for sure learned" about "enjoying life" from Gerda especially. "If I showed you the text from her this morning, it would be a sunrise on a hike, which she calls her Prozac, and that's every morning. Before I wake up, she's already like, 'It's a gorgeous f---ing day and the sun is up and we are grateful,' " Theron said, adding, "She's also a broad and she swears way more than I do."