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Charlize Theron on Surprise Superhero Cameos in ‘The Boys’ and ‘Doctor Strange,’ Toasting 15 Years of Africa Foundation


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Saturday night was a big one for Charlize Theron.

The Oscar-winning talent turned up on the Universal Studios backlot to host the second annual block party to benefit the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP), an organization she founded in 2007 that is celebrating a milestone 15th anniversary this year. As part of those duties, Theron was tasked with moderating an onstage Q&A with the cast and director of Universal blockbuster Jurassic World Dominion ahead of an under-the-stars screening, updating guests on the work of CTAOP, shouting out the night’s sponsors and talking up featured performer Wyclef Jean.

And she did it all while jet-lagged after flying in from Rome, where she’s about to start filming the sequel to Netflix hit The Old Guard. If that sounds superhero-ish, Theron fits the bill and then some. Despite being in desperate need of a coffee, Theron graciously spent a generous amount of time speaking to every press outlet on the red carpet and personally greeting and expressing gratitude to attendees including Jordana Brewster, Lilly Singh, Mary McCormack, June Diane Raphael, Sofia Boutella, Paul Scheer, Lauren Conrad and RuPaul’s Drag Race star Eureka O’Hara.

A chunk of time on the press line was spent talking about superheroes, as Theron was making her first public appearance since popping up in back-to-back buzzworthy cameos in Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as Clea and Amazon’s The Boys as villain Stormfront in a scene from the Dawn of the Seven superhero film. The latter came during the first episode of season three, and Theron’s scene is followed by a wild small-screen moment involving an exploding penis. Just don’t ask Theron about that.

“There’s an exploding penis? No, don’t spoil it, I haven’t seen it,” Theron said with a laugh. “I saw it in the press but, no, I haven’t seen it myself because I’m working right now. But I love the show. I love Seth Rogen and I love the entire team at Point Grey. We, obviously, made Long Shot together and all became fast friends. You know, we look out for each other but ultimately, if he called me and it was a crappy show, I wouldn’t do it. But he doesn’t make crappy things. It was really fun to go and do that.”

She has seen Doctor Strange, and Theron chalked it up to “weird timing” that both projects debuted within weeks of one another. “When Kevin [Feige] asked me to join the Doctor Strange world, I didn’t even know when I was going to shoot that at the time. The [roles] were so far apart that I almost forgot,” said Theron, who added that she’s definitely not maxed out on cameos because “I have kids to raise.” “But in full transparency, I shared it with them and they were so happy that people are interested in this world, whether it’s satire or non-satire. I don’t know why both of these superheroes can’t live in the same world.”

Theron, dressed in jeans and a white button-down by Dior, debuted a dark mullet and said the hairstyle is for another superhero role of sorts, reprising her part as Andy in The Old Guard 2 for director Victoria Mahoney. “We needed something that felt like time had passed, so for that, you go with the ol’ mullet,” she quipped.

On a more serious note, Theron said she’s so proud of the work her foundation has done across 15 years, giving special credit to the grassroots-level organizations CTAOP works with in reaching youth through a variety of programs. “Make no mistake — our partners are the heroes,” she said from the stage. To THR: “I’m really proud of the fact that we had set ourselves up in a way where we could pivot and work in areas like vaccine equality. You can’t work in education, safety and health if you don’t look at the full overview of the world that young people are living in.”

She cited CTAOP’s work in mobilizing in the KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa in the wake of a devastating flood that killed more than 400 people and displaced thousands. CTAOP provided emergency response funding to organizations in the region providing food and basic needs, support for school children, psychosocial support, the rebuilding of homes and community structures, and other community-specific responses. “We could help out with that as well because that is one of the communities that we serve. We’re all very proud of the fact that we’ve been able to not fall behind in supporting communities in a real holistic way.”

And because they work with so many young people, Theron said the CTAOP Block Party is designed in a way to match the energy of the demographic. “We want to make tonight a fun night because that’s why people come. The last one was pretty epic, so it feels right to have an event with an energy that represents the resilience and the power of the young people that we serve.”

In addition to the Jurassic World screening and Q&A featuring Jeff Goldblum, Bryce Dallas Howard, DeWanda Wise and Mamoudou Athie alongside director Colin Trevorrow, the Block Party featured street food stations curated by chefs Andrew Zimmern and Melissa King, a silent and live auction (with brands like Dior, Valentino, Whispering Angel, Jenni Kayne, Jimmy Choo, artist Alexandra Nechita, Pernod Ricard, Four Seasons and Breitling), a bandana customizing booth, tarot card reader, tequila tasting, a mechanical bull, and beats by DJ Kiss.

Wyclef Jean amped up the crowd before the dinosaurs did by taking the stage for a special set that featured such hits as “No Woman, No Cry,” “Ready or Not,” “Maria Maria” and “Hips Don’t Lie.” The event was sponsored by Dior, Universal, Ascent Global Logistics, XX Artists, Bloomberg, Pernod Ricard, Whispering Angel, Breitling, Ultimate Kronos Group, WME and The Little Market.

During the Q&A, Goldblum stole a moment to compliment Theron on the event and 15 years of work on behalf of CTAOP. “I so admire what you’re doing. You’re an exemplar and model of how your life can make a difference,” the actor said. “Using your activities and energies for that tonight, I adore you and aspire to be like you.” He closed with the Afrikaans word for “thank you”: “Baie dankie, baie dankie, baie dankie.”

Big night, indeed.

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Colin Trevorrow, Jeff Goldblum, DeWanda Wise, Bryce Dallas Howard, Emily Carmichael, Mamoudou Athie and Charlize Theron speak onstage during CTAOP’s Block Party.

Roger Kisby/Getty Images

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Universal chairman Donna Langley and Charlize Theron.

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Wyclef Jean performs onstage.

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Luscious, Eureka O’Hara and Charlize Theron sneak a selfie before the show.

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