In Robert Redford's The Legend Of Bagger Vance, which opens Friday, Charlize Theron plays the beautiful heiress to a golf resort situated in Depression-era Savannah. And although she wasn't afforded the opportunity to take any on-screen swings, Theron says that she, along with co-stars Matt Damon and Will Smith, found time to play the links of South Carolina's Colleton River Plantation, and the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island (where the film was shot).
"We took full advantage of where we were," Theron reports, her enthusiasm for golf shining through. "The good thing is that we got to do that for three months, but the sad thing is that now, every golf course we play on, we're like, 'Well, this is no South Carolina, I'll tell you that.'"
Recalling her first foray into golf, Theron notes that her mother's interest in the sport actually preceded her own. "But then, I picked up a club one day and hit a ball," she says, slipping into a mock, desperate sob, "and my life hasn't been the same ever since!"
As of late, Theron's life at least as represented by the number of films she has in theaters this season is quite full. In addition to Bagger Vance, the actress currently is appearing in The Yards and the soon-to-be released Men of Honor, co-starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. And she has another four films on her slate for 2001.
"I have been busy," she tells TV Guide Online. "I'm really into working because I want to learn, and I feel like I'm in a place right now where I get to do that. I have that hunger."
As a result, Theron has drawn the interest of top directors. Lasse Hallström received an Oscar nod for The Cider House Rules; James Gray was nominated for Cannes' Golden Palm, for his work on The Yards; and Bagger Vance had Academy Award-winner Redford calling the shots.
Currently, Theron is in New York shooting the latest offering from Woody Allen, who previously cast her in 1998's Celebrity. "It's definitely different from anything that you'll have with another director," she states, explaining that one of the reasons she embraces the chance to again work with Allen is "you never know where the hell you fit into the movie. It's a good exercise to build a character just based on a character. You don't know how this person is supposed to enhance in the story. That's why I like working with him."