It’s turning out to be a boffo summer for powerful women on the big screen, with “Wonder Woman” smashing box-office records worldwide. Early buzz around “Atomic Blonde,” starring Charlize Theron, suggests the spy thriller is poised for similar success.
But the female empowerment motif is just one aspect of the film that excites Theron. In a new interview with Variety, the 41-year-old Oscar winner said she was thrilled to step into the role of top-level MI6 spy Lorraine Broughton, in part because the character is bisexual ― and unapologetically so.
“I just loved it,” Theron said of shooting a steamy love scene with co-star Sofia Boutella, who plays Delphine, another female spy. “For so many reasons: My frustration of how that community is represented in cinema, or lack thereof. And also, it made perfect sense. It just suited her.”
Lorraine’s sexuality, Theron added, allowed the character to break the mold in terms of female representation in film as a whole. “It just felt there was a way through that relationship and the fact that it was a same-sex relationship,” she said, “to show a woman not having to fall in love, which is one of those female tropes: ‘It’s a woman; she better fall in love — otherwise, she’s a whore!’”
She continued, “James Bond doesn’t have such hot you-know-what. I loved that we didn’t hide under the sheets.”
Theron, who is an outspoken LGBTQ rights advocate, has previously explored same-sex relationships on screen. The star picked up an Academy Award for her portrayal of real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos, who was by varying accounts a lesbian or bisexual, in 2003′s “Monster.”