Charlize Theron is getting some of the best reviews of her career for her most badass role ever.
Wall to wall action movie “Atomic Blonde” doesn’t open until the summer but the first sneak preview screening was held on Sunday night at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, where the cheering crowd went wild for her fierce spy character.
The raves hit social media soon after with critics and audience members praising the fight scenes and the love scenes as her bisexual MI-6 agent character was widely nicknamed “James Blonde” and described as “an instantly-iconic 21st century action heroine.”
In the film’s standout scene, an epic six minute action sequence, she fights multiple men in an apartment building elevator and stairwell in an ass-kicking blitz of martial arts mayhem.
Speaking at the screening, Theron told the crowd, “I had eight amazing fight trainers who basically just made me puke every day, and I’m very thankful to them.”
She added that she had trained five hours a day for three months to learn the skills needed for the film. That training got so intense at one point that she cracked two teeth learning a fight move.
In the process she even mastered the tricky MMA skill of the ‘hanging arm throw” where she can throw a man over her head while flinging her body on the ground.
Theron found the material herself, buying up the film rights to the 2012 graphic novel “The Coldest City” by Antony Johnson. The story follows bisexual blonde British spy Lorraine Broughton on action-packed espionage missions during which she mixes passion with punches.
“I hadn’t seen another character like her out there. She doesn’t apologize for anything. We made her strong and feisty. She’s cheeky. These were all things I responded to,” she told Entertainment Weekly.
The film, directed by “John Wick” moviemaker David Leitch and co-starring James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella and John Goodman, will be released on July 28 – almost two years after Theron’s previous action role as Furiosa in huge hit “Mad Max: Fury Road.”
Judging by the early reviews, summer can’t come soon enough.
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