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Video: Theron ‘relishes’ imperfections of new role

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    >>> we all remember that pretty popular girl from high school , the one everyone thought had it all. charlize theron plays that girl in the new movie " young adult . "ow now at 30 something, her character decides to go back to the hometown where she grew up and rekindle an old flame. but she quickly finds out there might be some problems with her plan. let's take a look.

    >> buddy slade and i are meant to be together. and i'm here to get him back.

    >> i'm pretty sure he's married with a kid on the way.

    >> no. the kid is here. i'm cool with it. i've got baggage, too. i would keep all of this to yourself. i would find a therapist.

    >> that's not the old flame. that's matt who you became friends with.

    >> yes.

    >> but this is, i think, a dark, complicated role in which mavis gary seems to not understand reality. how would would you describe it?

    >> i think you did a really good job. i really like the idea, the film is really kind of dressed up as it looks like a very simple story. and what i liked about it is what you just said. it's a film that deals with some really complicated human issues. it really is a study on human behavior and it really is the story of a girl who kind of had a -- development and writes these young adult novels and has never grown up and has no tool set. so there was something interesting about watching a woman in her mid 30s dealing with things that we all know, but dealing with them like a 16-year-old.

    >> exactly. and she's not just trying to rekindle an old flame. she actually is going after her old boyfriend after he has just had a child with his wife who he's happily married to.

    >> yeah.

    >> so she's actually a character who you have ever reason watching this movie that you want to hate her.

    >> yeah.

    >> and yet in the way you play her, it's impossible to hate her. and why is that?

    >> because i fool you. i thought i -- when i read it, i think, like you said, the things that she does are despicable. but there was something about her that felt very human to me. and i think jason wrightman, who directed this film so brilliantly, said something really so very true. when we watch movies, it is in a way like holding up a mirror. and we see these things that most of the time it's the attributes that we aspire to. most movies are about people doing good things and this is a character that i think holds a mirror to the things that i think maybe are not so attractive about us, that are very human.

    >> in a rare way, in a way that we don't often see women portrayed on film, you know? and i'm interested in that because i wonder, do you go after the sort of dark, complicated bob de niro type characters or do they come seeking you?

    >> i don't know exactly how it works. i mean, i think those are -- that's definitely the career i wanted for myself. i grew up on 70s film and i looked at what gene hackman and dustin hoffman did and those are the characters that i just relished. it was very rare. i think women in the 70s got to do them, too, like meryl streep and susan suranden. but i think we're waking up to the feeling that women are not just the two extremities. we are really -- there's a massive gray zone when it comes to us and we're, i think, sometimes more complex and layered than men are. and i think slowly film is kind of coming around and showing those women.

    >> and you're playing some of those roles and to the point where you have won an oscar, you've been nominated for another and now there's buzz about this particular movie? so when you are in that category of actresses who is sort of expected or sort of perceived as being oscar worthy, what's the sort of -- i mean, is there a comfort kind of a zone? what does that mean? i mean, few of us have that experience.

    >> i sometimes feel like i never -- i mean, it's so bizarre. i feel incredibly blessed that i have gone through that experience and this is like this little film. i haven't worked for three years. and to come back in this film with this kind of material with someone like jason wrightman directing me, that feels like a gift and i can't even think -- i can't think beyond that. it's such a compliment, but it's so --

    >> well, we're cheering for you. the movie is called " young adult " it opens in select cities today and nationwide on december 16th . i think you're fantastic in it. i'm rooting

Photos: December movies

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  1. 'New Year's Eve'

    Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele are just two of the many stars who appear in "New Year's Eve," a romantic comedy similar to 2010's "Valentine's Day. Other stars include Robert De Niro, Jon Bon Jovi, Seth Meyers, Katherine Heigl, Halle Berry and Ryan Seacrest. The film depicts a variety of romantic interludes all relating to the holiday. (Opens Dec. 9.) (Warner Bros.) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. 'The Sitter'

    Jonah Hill plays a college-age babysitter who gets himself and his charges into all kinds of trouble, including a Manhattan car chase. (Opens Dec. 9.) (Twentieth Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. 'Young Adult'

    Charlize Theron plays a teen-lit author who returns to her Minnesota hometown in hopes of reconnecting with her high-school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson), who's happily married. Diablo Cody, who won the screenwriting Oscar for "Juno," wrote the screenplay. (Opens Dec. 8 in some cities, Dec. 16 everywhere.) (Paramount Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows'

    Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law return as Holmes and Watson in "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," the sequel to 2009's "Sherlock Holmes." This film introduces Holmes' legendary adversary, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris). Madonna's ex-husband, Guy Ritchie, directs.(Opens Dec. 16.) (Warner Bros.) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. 'Carnage'

    A fight between schoolboys leads to much drama between their parents in Roman Polanski's "Carnage." Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly play the two sets of parents. The film is set in Brooklyn, but was filmed in Paris since Polanski cannot legally travel to the U.S. (Opens Dec. 16.) (Sony Pictures Classics) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. 'Chipwrecked'

    And the goofiest title of the month award goes to ... "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked." Simon, Alvin and Theodore and their female counterparts, the Chipettes, go on a cruise and find themselves wrecked and lost. Jason Lee of "My Name Is Earl" fame plays Chipmunk-wrangler Dave Seville, and there's plenty of singing. (Opens Dec. 16.) (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. 'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'

    Fans of the Swedish-produced film trilogy based on Stieg Larsson's books were unsure if Hollywood could pull off English-language versions. The first one in the planned trilogy opens this month. Rooney Mara took over the Noomi Rapace role of Lisbeth Salander, with Daniel Craig as publisher Michael Blomkvist. (Opens Dec. 21.) (Columbia TriStar) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. 'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol'

    There are some stunning stunts, including some utilizing the world's tallesst building, in "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol." Tom Cruise reprises his role as Agent Ethan Hunt. Hunt is on a mission in Moscow when terrorists bomb the Kremlin, and he and his team must move forward without U.S. government support. (Opens Dec. 21.) (Paramount Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. 'The Adventures of Tintin'

    Comic character Tintin is better known to European audiences than to Americans, but the makers of his first U.S. movie hope to change that. "The Adventures of Tintin" is done in performance capture 3D, and features the young journalist (Jamie Bell) and his dog Snowy stumbling into an adventure involving a sunken ship. (Opens Dec. 21.) (Paramount Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. 'We Bought a Zoo'

    Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson star in "We Bought a Zoo," based on a memoir by a man who did just that -- used his family's life savings to purchse a dilapidated English zoo. Cameron Crowe directs and co-wrote the screenplay. (Opens Dec. 23.) (Twentieth Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. 'In the Land of Blood and Honey'

    Angelina Jolie makes her directorial debut with "In the Land of Blood and Honey," a love story set against the background of the 1992 Bosnian War. Two versions were shot, one in English, the other in Serbo-Croatian, and local actors from the Bosnia and Herzegovina areas were used. (Opens Dec. 23.) (FilmDistrict) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'

    "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" is based on the 1974 John LeCarre novel. Gary Oldman plays spy George Smiley as he hunts for a Soviet double agent inside the British secret service. (Opens Dec. 23.) (Focus Features) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. 'War Horse'

    Steven Spielberg directs "War Horse," based on the children's novel about a young boy (Jeremy Irvine) whose beloved horse is taken off to battle in World War I. (Opens Dec. 25.) (DreamWorks) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'

    "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" is based on the 2005 Jonathan Safran Foer novel. Young Thomas Horn plays Oskar, whose beloved father (Tom Hanks) dies in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. When Oskar discovers a mysterious key that belonged to his father, he searches New York to find the lock it opens. (Opens Dec. 25 in some cities, Jan. 20 everywhere.) (Warner Bros.) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. 'The Iron Lady'

    There's already Oscar talk for Meryl Streep in her role as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady." The biopic shows Thatcher's life and career through flashbacks, including the days leading up to the 1982 Falklands War. (Opens Dec. 30 in some cities, Jan. 13 everywhere.) (The Weinstein Company) Back to slideshow navigation
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    Above: Slideshow (15) December movies
  2. Image: Paul Rudd
    Dan Steinberg / AP
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