Do you have a lot of Dior?
I do, I get spoiled. And so do my mum and my friends, and they are incredibly generous, yeah.
In a world of privilege where there are so many people underprivileged, how important is it to find a balance there for you, especially when you see yourself as so blessed?
Well, I have always worked in the field of HIV and anti-rape, and that’s been the last twenty years of my life. And coming from a country like South Africa, it’s impossible to forget how incredibly blessed my life has turned out and how that is not the case for many people in my country. So in starting my organization in 2007, Charlize Theron Outreach Africa project, we focus now primarily on prevention care when it comes to HIV and AIDS and giving children, the youth of South Africa, some kind of future to look up to. Not only taking ownership of their health and making choices to actually save their own lives, but to give them something to live for. That has become a huge part of my life. That’s the only reason that I go back to South Africa, that’s my family and that’s what I go back for.
And my work with the UN couldn’t be more neutralizing and sobering to really, really witness the fortunate aspect of all of our lives. When I travel with the DRC or do any work with them in Africa, it’s nothing short of miraculous that I am where I am.
Is your mum the most important person in your life?
I think people are there for different reasons. I mean I think I have a closeness to my mum, we are friends, but she’s my mother first and foremost and that’s how I was raised. That’s why I think we are so close, because she never tried to just be my friend. She’s my mum.
And so I think that’s why we have had the relationship that we have always had because it’s a healthy one. She’s not just my girlfriend, she just happened to be a person that I actually really like, and who I think is actually funny and all of that stuff. But she’s the first person to put me in line, the way a parent does.
Does she do that still?
Yeah, of course. I mean, in a way where she treats me like I am an adult. She doesn’t treat me like I am twelve any more, but we have a very healthy relationship in that sense.
When she gives you advice, how do you take it? Do you feel it’s like she’s criticizing you?
I mean, look, I think every child wants their parent to be proud of them, and I think anybody who won’t admit that is secretly hiding something. I think there’s definitely a sense when it comes to a child and their parent and I think we are all human beings and it can sometimes be harder to take criticism from a parent, and I have had moments with mum where she’s like, ‘That movie is a piece of shit!’ (Laughs) But I would rather her be incredibly honest because then when she says that movie is really good I really believe it. But, yeah, that’s normal.
Can you relate to what Lupita Nyong’o said when she won the Oscar, that every little girl’s dream is valid?
And a very lovely moment because a lot of people don’t acknowledge that I am African, and I ran into her parents backstage, and they said, ‘Our African sister!’ I completely relate to everything she’s saying.