Why Wonder Woman Seriously Asked Charlize Theron to Play the Hero’s Mother

The pantheon of Hollywood women asked to play age-inappropriate roles has added yet another inductee: Charlize Theron, who was apparently offered a role in Wonder Woman. . . as the titular hero’s mother.


The actress made the reveal on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live, where a caller asked if the rumors Theron had turned down the role of Wonder Woman were true. “I did not turn the role of Wonder Woman down,” Theron said, before launching into the whole sordid tale: “This is a great of example of how Hollywood slaps you in the face when you start aging. So somebody had said to me, ‘Oh, there’s action on this thing, Wonder Woman—we just want to make you aware of it.’ And I was like, ‘I’m just not familiar with it . . . I mean, what does Wonder Woman do?’ And this person said, ‘No, it’s for Wonder Woman’s mom.’“

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Theron, now 43, is only nine years older than Gal Gadot, who wound up playing Wonder Woman in the 2017 film. Although Theron was laughing, Cohen looked understandably stunned—but the actress insisted she’s fine. Still, she said, “It was the defining moment where I crossed over. And I wasn’t fully aware of it.”

The entertainment world has a long history of casting actresses far too young to play the mothers of the performers playing their children on-screen—one that includes stars like Amy Poehler, who was only seven years older than her on-screen daughter, Rachel McAdams, in Mean Girls; Toni Collette, who in Little Miss Sunshine was a mere 12 years older than her screen son Paul Dano; and, perhaps most infamously, Angelina Jolie, who was just one year older than Colin Farrell when she played his mother in Alexander. Thankfully, Theron did turn down the role, which eventually went to Connie Nielsen—who, at 53, was a much more reasonably believable age for the part.