Things certainly seemed less than sunny Wednesday on the Cape Town set, as captured in new photographs that show both Oscar winners looking quite stonefaced as they worked to get the shots done – Penn as director, and Theron as the film’s lead actress.
PEOPLE confirmed the couple’s split in June, which in many ways came as a surprise, given that each actor, in separate interviews this year, had proclaimed the other to be the love of their life.
Penn, 54, used that phrase in talking with France’s Le Parisien; Theron, 39, later said the same to British Elle in its June issue, though she admitted the experience of shooting The Last Face had taken a toll.
“There were moments where I was incredibly unfair to him. And moments where I felt like … he was incredibly unfair to me,” she said. “But it makes you realize that no matter how complicated it gets, the priority is the relationship.”
The pair had been nearly inseparable as a couple, often spending time with Theron’s 3-year-old son, Jackson. Before this week, they were last seen together on the Cannes red carpet in May.