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Before They Were Famous: Charlize Theron, Sam Rockwell & Rebel Wilson

05.29.2015

Welcome to “Before They Were Famous“, where we take a look at some of the past exploits of today's biggest stars, be it from movies, television, Broadway, competitions, etc.! The more embarrassing, the better. Our memories are long, but the internet's memory is forever, so jump back in time with us to witness some of our favorite stars before they were marquee names.


Charlize Theron (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD)

Whenever I think of the best “Before They Were Famous” videos, this interview with 16-year-old Charlize Theron (1991), from her early modeling days, pops into my head. Yes, it’s a well-known fact that Charlize, whose first language is Afrikaans, is from South Africa, but have you ever wondered why she doesn’t have an accent? Well, turns out with a lot of practice, and lots of hours spent watching American TV and singing along to the radio, she was able to replace her thick South African accent with an American one.

When asked about changing her accent to land more work in Hollywood, Theron replied:

Yes. I mean, look, it was kind of -- I was kind of pushed into a corner. I started going out on auditions and the feedback was always she's really great, but can she do it in an American accent? My English was very poor, and I still you'll hear -- I'll make a lot of grammar mistakes.

In another interview, she elaborated more about her accent and South African roots.

The irony is, South Africans will know this, certain parts of the country are predominantly Afrikaans or predominantly English. I grew up in a predominantly Afrikaans environment where nobody spoke English. So you would have English as a second language at school but if you had Spanish, you don’t go home; you don’t practice it, you’re not talking to people. So my English was actually incredibly poor and so in a way I almost learnt English like an American. I spoke very much like a South African and yeah, I couldn’t do both; I admire people who can go back. I mean also I was much younger too. I think if I was older I probably would’ve hung onto one versus the other. I didn’t really have a voice, as in English South African. It was bizarre, and I didn’t feel like I was losing one for the other because I always just spoke Afrikaans. So English was really a second language for me and I learnt it with an American accent, and then people got really upset, ‘You’re not a South African anymore’.

Obviously accents don’t define a person’s nationality and Theron, who always speaks fondly of and maintains a charity foundation in her home country, is South African through and through. And hell, any country who can claim responsibility for Imperator Furiosa herself should consider themselves lucky.


Sam Rockwell (Poltergeist)

Just when I thought Sam Rockwell couldn’t get any more awesome, I discovered he was in the first TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES movie (1990). Playing the part of “head thug”, Rockwell was a thief-turned- Shredder minion, whose gang caused some problems for the Turtles, especially after they became members of The Foot Clan. And while he may not have gotten a character name, Rockwell did get a nice verbal lashing from Master Splinter. Please excuse the clip’s audio problems; this video was just too good to pass up.


Rebel Wilson (PITCH PERFECT 2)

Doing her best American accent, Aussie-native Rebel Wilson’s first appearance in a major production was a bit part in the movie GHOST RIDER (2007), starring Nicolas Cage. In the film, she plays a witness who saw the flaming head of Ghost Rider firsthand and tells a local news station about her experience. Even back then, before PITCH PERFECT and BRIDESMAIDS, Wilson’s hilarious line delivery and physical comedy made her a scene stealer.

In an interview with Conan, she honestly described her experience on the GHOST RIDER set with Nicolas Cage.

It was that classic thing that when I went on set, someone told me, ‘Whatever you do, don’t look at Nicolas Cage in the eye and do not talk to him.’ I thought that was a myth, but someone fully came up and told me that. So I was sitting next to him and going like this [looks away awkwardly] and then he talked to me, so I was like, ‘Thank God. I can say something.’ I went, ‘Hey, your hair looks really good.’ And just as I was touching it, I went [gasp], ‘That’s a wig.’... I realized I really put my foot in it now, because the first thing I said to him was complimenting his full head of hair. I didn’t realize it wasn’t real.

Between this, and her story about Russell Crowe telling her to f**k off, Rebel’s truth-telling on talk shows is always something to look forward to.

 

Have a suggestion for Before They Were Famous?

E-mail us at: beforetheywerefamous@joblo.com with anyone you'd like to see featured in future columns!

Source: JoBlo.com

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