When she was just a farmer's daughter in Benoni, South Africa, Charlize Theron dreamed of coming to America. "Not to any particular city," she says. Just 'America.' It always seemed like a place where everything is possible." Two decades later, anything is possible for Theron. The woman who left home as a dancer became a model and successful actress. Those early days are on her mind this month as she narrates When I Was a Girl, WE's series about the childhoods of famous women. Here, we grill the 28-year-old on some of her youthful indiscretions.
TV Guide Online: When you were a girl did you ever dream that you'd grow up to be a famous actress who gets paid to kiss Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves...
Theron: Well... (Fake laughs)
TVGO: ...Tobey McGuire, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and Ben Affleck?
Theron: You are so funny. But, no. I grew up on a little farm in South Africa. I never knew anything about acting. In my community we didn't really read about movie stars. We had home magazines and how-to-take-care-of-your-animals magazines. Plus, I was so in love with ballet that that was really all I wanted to do.
TVGO: That's right. You danced with the Joffrey Ballet. How long did you study?
Theron: For 12 years.
TVGO: So do you have ugly dancer feet?
Theron: I have dancer feet in the sense that I have a very high instep and I'm really comfortable on demi-pointe which means I can do anything in high heels. But I've had 14 broken toes, blood poisoning from infected blisters that didn't heal for six months and all of those things. If you look up close you can see those scars. But I never got bunions or anything. My boyfriend says my feet are the best thing about me. But I don't' know how to feel about that.
TVGO: About this farm you grew up on. Was it a working farm or just a house with a lot of land.
Theron: It was a typical farm. We had a huge plot of land, a farm house and our cattle. At some times, we had ostrich, fish, ducks and something like 24 dogs and 15 cats. It was quite a happening animal place.
TVGO: What were your chores?
Theron: I had to clean out the duck ponds. Which I kind of loved doing. It requires a bucket and a lot of scooping and making sure you get all the poop out. Then, refilling it with fresh water. But then, I'd get to swim with the ducks in the clean water. So it was okay.
TVGO: Ah, sweet memories. Now back to Ben and all the men we love...
Theron: Well, it's a job. Like any other job.
TVGO: So then, how well on a scale of 1 to 10 would you say Keanu kissed while doing this job?
Theron: Oh, you're trying to get me into trouble. I can't talk about those things! They'll never work with me again.
TVGO: Inquiring minds will want to know.
Theron: It's something that I didn't even pay attention to... Well, it's not like [the director said,] go and kiss Keanu Reeves. You're in the middle of a scene and before you know it, it's done. Over. And you can barely remember it. And it's not because he's a bad kisser or anything.
Theron: But I really have to cut this short. I have a car waiting for me.