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Charlize Theron's killer makeover

Screen beauty is out to prove she can be a beast if role calls for it

January 01, 2004|By Barry Koltnow | Barry Koltnow,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

"There will be parts of this movie that make you hate her. I even hate her in those parts. But I hope that the audience sees her as an empathetic character. Yes, I believe Aileen killed innocent people, but I don't think that anything in life is black and white. There are gray areas to every life and the movie is looking at the gray areas."

Her physical transformation began with a nearly 30-pound weight gain, which Theron said was spearheaded by her longtime potato-chip habit. Then came contact lenses and an amazing set of dentures.

"There were no prosthetics except a cellophane-thin strip of plastic on my eyelids and a cream on my face to give me a sun-damaged look. But that's my own hair; there were no wigs.

"This wasn't a game we were playing called `Let's try to make Charlize look ugly.' I didn't want it to look like a caricature. I just wanted it to look like Aileen."

There was no time for partying during the 28-day shoot around Daytona Beach, Fla., but Theron said she did go out with Jenkins and a producer one night to discuss the possibility of filming in a bar where the real Aileen Wuornos was a regular.

"I decided to wear the dentures that night because I had so little time to get used to them and I needed to change my entire speech pattern before we started shooting.

"Anyway, I didn't say much during the meeting with the bar owner, but when we were leaving, Patty turned to me and said: `You know that there are a lot of people from that bar who will go home tonight and say that Charlize Theron has some really bad teeth.'

"That's OK with me, as long as they believed it was real."

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