11/28/2011 07:58 am ET | Updated Jan 28, 2012

Charlize Theron Bullied In School, Did 'Crazy Things' To Try To Fit In

Does it get better for bullied students? Charlize Theron proves it does.

While promoting her new movie, Young Adult, in New York, Theron told People magazine that she struggled to fit in during her years in school and was victim to bullying. Now, she's the face of Dior and an Oscar-winning actress.

But back in the day, Theron wasn't one of the popular kids, which made her do "crazy things" to try to be a part of the inner circle, according to People. She plays the mean, popular, girl in her new movie about a writer who goes back to her old high school to relive the glory days.

The star says she was also teased for her "nerdy glasses," haircut and clothes, and struggled to befriend boys -- though the bullying affected her most during her elementary and middle school years.

"I was pretty much a mess in primary school," Theron told People. "But I got that out of my system by the time I got to high school and was more immune to all of that stuff."

Theron isn't alone. Several Hollywood stars rose from instances or cultures of bullying during their school years. Madonna spoke out in Harper's Bazaar to tell her story of a "tortured" childhood rife with schoolyard bullying.

"The boys in my school would make fun of me," she told Harper's Baazar. "'Hairy monster.' You know, things like that."

On the other side of the fence, rapper Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson is combating bullying through a new book titled Playground that takes a look at school taunting through the eyes of the bully. He admitted that while he was generally the one doing the teasing in school, having a retrospective look allows him to realize "that was completely wrong," and understand the motivations, he told the TODAY show last month.

Like Jackson, supermodel and TV personality Tyra Banks was what she calls a "mean girl" when she was in school, but later became a bullying victim, and has called on fans to join her and the battle against bullying.

In the wake of the death of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, Lady Gaga has called for a legal end to bullying, though investigators said last week that no charges would be filed in the case. Rodemeyer took his own life Sept. 18 allegedly as a result of relentless online and in-school peer bullying.