Charlize Theron Struggled Used Method Acting to Portray Aileen Wuornos

Credit: Monster

Aileen Wuornos was a monster. She was such a monster, in fact, that the telling of her life story was aptly named “Monster,” and it won actress Charlize Theron an Oscar for her portrayal of this heinous human being. In case you are unfamiliar with the serial killer, Aileen Wuornos is documented as the first female serial killer in the United States. In the span of two years between 1989 and 1990, she worked as a prostitute up and down Florida highways and interstates. During that time, she killed at least seven of her ‘clients’, later claiming they attempted to rape her during her solicitation of them. Charlize Theron worked hard to bring this killer’s story to life, and it took a toll on her.

Aileen Wuornos’ Arrest

She killed seven men, but no one could figure out who was working the streets of Florida and taking the lives of truckers, drivers, and other men on trips. It wasn’t until January 9, 1991, that she was arrested on an outstanding warrant while spending time at a biker bar in Volusia County near Daytona Beach. She confessed to the murders of each man only a week later, but she claimed that they were all in self-defense.

Credit: Monster

The Strange Adoption of Aileen Wuornos

In a strange turn of events, Wuornos was adopted while in prison. She was 35 at the time, and she was adopted by a woman and her husband, who were in their early 40s at the time. “The reason we did it is we want her to know what it feels like to have a family that really cares about her,” said Arlene Pralle, Wuornos’ adoptive mother.

Aileen Wuornos did not have a good childhood with her biological parents. She was born to an incarcerated father she never knew, a mother who gave her up to her grandparents, and her grandparents were both alcoholics. According to her Wikipedia profile, she was already sexually active at the age of 11 in exchange for drugs, cigarettes, etc. She also engaged in a sexual relationship with her older brother and claims her grandfather sexually molested her. By 14, she was pregnant as the result of rape – her grandfather’s friend impregnated her when he raped her. The baby was given up for adoption.

Aileen Wuornos’ Death

She was killed by lethal injection on October 9, 2002, in Florida. Following her trial, she was charged with six counts of first-degree murder, and she was sentenced to six death sentences. She spent the weeks before her death sharing with the world she would be back with Jesus. Her last meal was a cup of coffee. The killer maintained until her death that she’d come back. She alluded to the scene on Independence Day when the mothership came back. She called herself a woman who would return with Jesus, and her words often made no sense to anyone but herself.

Charlize Theron Used Method Acting

Charlize Theron had to get into this woman’s life to play her. She used a technique called method acting, in which she works to become the character emotionally. She stays in character for the duration of filming. The act is controversial in many ways because it often creates an unkind and difficult work environment. Theron did use this method to become Aileen Wuornos. She wore fake teeth, she gained a lot of weight, and she stayed in the dark, twisted mindset of this woman. However, she’s since spoken out against Method Acting, calling it exhausting. We cannot imagine it’s easy.

Credit: Monster

She was the number one choice from day one to play this character in the movie. The concept of gaining weight was one she thought of on her own and talked to the director about. She’d read letters from Aileen Wuornos, who said that despite selling her body for drugs, money, sex, and more, the one thing she would never do was remove her shirt. Theron thought there must be some scars and emotional thoughts on that one in the killer’s mind, and she assumed it had to do with a hatred of her body and what it endured.

There’s no denying that this serial killer had a difficult childhood, and that absolutely played a role in her adulthood. She made choices she didn’t need to make, but she made them regardless. It was a dark time for Charlize Theron, but her role as Wuornos has been called one of the best in the history of cinema. The Academy Award she brought home from the Oscars as Best Actress is one that was well deserved.

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