Even an Oscar winner like Charlize Theron gets starstruck from time to time!
The 42-year-old Tully star opened up to Stephen Colbert on Thursday about getting her start in Hollywood after giving up her career as a dancer at the age of 19.
“That was my passion, yeah, for sure. I thought that was what I was going to do for the rest of my life,” she said of dance. “I’m not really built to be a ballerina. I’m a little too tall and too much weight on my knees. At 19 my body just kind of said, ‘No more.’ So I said, ‘Movies!’”
Theron called her decision “naïve,” explaining just how little she and her mother understood about making movies.
“She was like, ‘I hear they make them in Hollywood!’” she recalled her mom saying, adding that she bought her a one-way ticket to the City of Stars. “The travel agent sent us the ticket and it was like ‘Los Angeles,’ and she was like, ‘F**k , I told them Hollywood!’”
While in Hollywood, Theron’s second project ever was the 1996 film That Thing You Do, co-starring Tom Hanks.
“It was not good!” she said of her audition for the beloved film written and directed by Hanks. “I don’t know why he gave me the role, I mean, honestly. I was so nervous. Imagine you’re 19 and you meet this idol. I idolized him! I watched Turner and Hooch like 500 times. So to audition for somebody like that, it’s frightening.”
In fact, Theron was so flustered that she ended up making an embarrassing mistake several times throughout her audition.
“The character who plays my boyfriend in the movie, his character name was Guy,” she said of the lead role played by Tom Everett Scott. “I had to do this scene, and Tom [Hanks] read with me. It’s so mortifying. I got so nervous that I couldn’t say Guy and I kept saying ‘gay’ and the more I tried to correct myself, the more I just said ‘gay.’ It was just so horrible. He literally said at one point, ‘You know, let’s just take a break. We’ll come back.’ And I was like, ‘Ugh, I am sucking right now!’”
Theron recently opened up to ET about putting on weight for her new film about motherhood, Tully. Watch the clip below for the exclusive interview!