The Bombshell actress was honored at the 33rd Annual American Cinematheque Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Friday, where she opened up to ET's Matt Cohen about her how meaningful it is to be recognized for her hard work.
"The job is such a gift. The fact that I get to do this," Theron, 44, expressed. "Things like tonight really makes you reflect on the journey and how you got here and everything that you've experienced and fought for. The amount of hard work that you put into it, but also the generosity of so many lovely people, and I feel really overwhelmed."
"I feel deeply overwhelmed by all of it," she said, before jokingly adding, "And I'm just trying not to mess my makeup up too soon. I want to at least look pretty for a little bit before I start ugly crying."
The American Cinematheque Award is presented annually to an extraordinary artist currently making a significant contribution to the art of the Moving Picture.
During the Theron tribute, Bombshell director Jay Roach, Seth MacFarlane, David Oyelowo, Kristen Stewart, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman and Seth Rogen took the stage to toast the actress. Tom Hanks, Patty Jenkins and Bombshell costars Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie, also shared some words via video.
As for where she will put her new award, will it be placed next to her bespoke Rogen-designed vase that she showed off on Instagram weeks ago?
"That vase is really near and dear to my heart," Theron said. "I feel like I somewhat harassed him to get it, but I don't care. It is in a very special place and that's a good spot for this award."
It's been an exciting time for Theron. ET was also with the celebrated star at the Hollywood Film Awards, where she got emotional after accepting the trophy from Kidman.
"Nicole Kidman just gave me an award for something that I never really, you know, I never thought that I would have this career," Theron said, getting teary-eyed with appreciation. "And that's really the truth."
"I think every actor always longs for longevity," she continued. "We try to stay in this game for a long time and the fact that I've been able to do that, not only for this long but on my own terms, and make the stuff that really matters to me, that means a lot."