Charlize Theron's new movie is a bit of a challenge for her, in one way. In other ways it was very close to home.
The film is Dark Places, based on the book by Gillian Flynn, who wrote the wildly successful book and film, Gone Girl.
Charlize Theron will portray Libby Day, a woman whose mother and two sisters were murdered in the 1980s. Her own brother went to prison for the murders. Libby has grown up certain that her brother Ben was the murderer. But she ends up talking with a group of people who have their doubts.
"I knew going in that I was kind of up against a wall," Theron says. "This character was written 5'2" and red hair. So for me it became very important right from the beginning to figure out a way to get the essence of her across."
Dark Places producer Cathy Schulman says of Theron, "All of her performances have shown some kind of a strange combination of inner pain and absolute vulnerability."
"I just think she has that right amount of toughness to her," adds Gillian Flynn.
If I saw late '90s Charlize Theron walking down my sidewalk, I'd be like oh man.
— Adam (@amc424) July 21, 2015
The film is set in a series of flashes back and forth in time, looking at Ben as a child, Libby's mom and sisters, and the circumstances around the murders.
Charlize Theron recently revealed that she brought some of her won real-life experience to the role of Libby Day.
Charlize Theron spoke about the incident she used to prep for the role.
"I did experience a very traumatic experience, an event, in my life. And somehow it's formed me. My character goes through this ordeal when she's 8 years old, and it really is examining what trauma does to a child, especially when she's expected to speak about it. And that's definitely something I can relate to, that's definitely something I've experienced in my life. As far as events go, they're very similar. There's a murder [in the film], while my situation was a very unfortunate incident with self-defense."
When Charlize Theron was 15 years old, her mother killed her father. Her dad had fired a gun into her bedroom and threatened to kill her. He had been out drinking.
Charlize Theron has said that the incident is a part of who she is, but does not define her.
"I know that if my daughter was in the same situation, I would do the same thing [my mother did]. It's a part of me, but it doesn't rule my life."
— People magazine (@people) July 27, 2015