Charlize Theron on playing an empowered female protagonist: 'I had to work my booty off'

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Charlize Theron said she “definitely put in the work” playing an empowered female protagonist in her upcoming thriller “Atomic Blonde” because, she said, she “didn’t want anybody to be able to say, ‘A woman can’t do that.'"

"A woman can do all of this because we’re amazing," the actress said on “Good Morning America” today, describing the intense training and personal injuries she endured on set. “I had to work my booty off."

“I cracked two teeth in the back of my jaw. I didn’t get hit or anything cool like that, I basically just clenched down on my jaw too hard,” she recalled. “I was pretty bruised up. My kids were there while we were making the film, and my youngest was just a little baby and there were days where picking her up felt like picking up a mountain. I was pretty bruised, my ribs were bruised. But overall we had an incredible time making this film, and nothing horrible went wrong, which says a lot when you make a movie like this because the action is incredible in this film. We definitely pushed the envelope with all of that and that nobody got hurt, we’re really lucky for that.”

Theron, 41, said she was “actively looking” for a role as an empowered female because “women are incredibly capable” and she wanted to do an action drama that “showcased that.”

“I feel that there’s this misconception sometimes when we talk about women in the genre that they want to be guys or they want to fight like guys, and that’s not really the point. The point is that we utilize who we are in that genre really well and for some reason we tend to not do it. And people are really responding to this film on that level. The fact that she uses her high heel shoe and uses a pot in a fridge, she uses what she has and I think that’s funny and it’s real.”

When Theron isn’t kicking butt though, she’s cleaning her feet before bed.

“I definitely suffer a little bit from OCD. There’s nothing cute about it,” she said. “I don’t like dirty feet. I would rather sleep with my makeup on than to not wash my feet before I go to bed.”

"Atomic Blonde" hits theaters July 28.

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