March 12, 2008

Charlize Theron: Glad To Be A U.S. Citizen

South African-Born Actress Says The Process Wasn't Easy

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(CBS)  She was born in South Africa, but Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron is happy to finally be a U.S. citizen.

"You're stuck with me now," she told David Letterman on CBS' "The Late Show" Wednesday.

Theron, who was sworn in with more than 5,000 other new citizens last May, said the process wasn't easy.

"Well, I've always wanted to be (a citizen) they just didn't want to take me. It's quite a process you have to work hard, you know, study up," she said. "Then finally I was approved and you have to go in and do an interview. You have to know your stuff."

Photos: Charlize Theron
Letterman wanted to know what kind of questions Theron was asked in the interview.

"It really is what you should know and it's good that they do it," she said. "You gotta know your senators, how the government works ... "

"Nobody knows how the government works, for God's sake," Letterman quipped.

The actress said she did "incredibly well" after studying really hard, but that she was thrown off when she was asked to write the simple sentence, "It's a sunny day."

"It's one of those weird feelings when you completely doubt yourself," she said, "and you're like 'does sunny have a double n?'"

Born Aug. 7, 1975, Theron was a ballet dancer and appeared with New York's Joffrey Ballet before a knee injury ended her dance career.

She headed for Los Angeles and an acting career, making her mark playing Aileen Wuornos in "Monster," the dark, true story of a prostitute who became a serial killer. She won an Academy Award, a SAG award and a Golden Globe award in 2004 for the role.

Theron is promoting her latest film, "Sleepwalking," a drama about a dysfunctional family. She produced and acted in the film.

"It's not a grim, depressing story," she said. "It's very real but at the same time it tells us that the end of the day we are all responsible to take charge of the life we really want."

"Sleepwalking" opens March 14, 2008.

By Judy Rosen
© MMVIII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Add a Comment
by cutexan May 31, 2009 11:41 AM EDT
Wow, did not take long after she got legal to start slamming her new country. Another Hollywood ungrateful ignorant.
Reply to this comment
by jetlizhan March 14, 2008 1:05 PM EDT
good for her. she''s so beautiful and an excellent actress. our country is lucky to have her.
Reply to this comment
by misssuzq March 13, 2008 5:28 PM EDT
Nice to know some immigrants go about being in America legally!
Reply to this comment
by shortmama2 March 13, 2008 2:10 PM EDT
Just wondering if there are other celebs who''ve
become citizens that we may not know about. Would
be interesting to see.
Reply to this comment
by briansgirl2 March 13, 2008 12:08 PM EDT
Congrats Ms. Theron!! I think we, as U.S. citizens, take that for granted. My sister-in-law, who is German, got her citizenship about 30 yrs. ago. I remember how she had to study very hard, some of the things at that particular time, I was learning in school. History was never a subject of interest to me. When I saw how hard she had to study, it made me push myself even more. I think if some of us (Americans) had to take that citizenship exam, we would surely fail (smile)! Hats off to all who have chosen America as their new home.
Reply to this comment
by samthetvcat March 13, 2008 5:55 AM EDT
She seems like she''d be a Barack supporter - yay, if that means one more vote for Barack! :D
Reply to this comment
by keithle1 March 13, 2008 1:39 AM EDT
Please, mygramma. I beg you. Can we get through ONE day without seeing or hearing Britney''s name! JUST GIMME 24 HOURS!!!

Reply to this comment
by keithle1 March 13, 2008 1:35 AM EDT
Bet she''ll never live in South Africa again.

She''s so good in "Monster." See that if you haven''t already. Really blew me away. Roger Ebert claims he had no idea who it was until the credits rolled at the end.

Beautiful women are a dime a dozen. Big whoop. How long can you stare at their beauty? Charlize can act. Make no mistake. Unfortunately she hasn''t done much quality work since "Monster."
But then the majority of movies made in Hollywood are average, two-star rating affairs.
Nothing special. They fill time on movie channels like HBO.
Reply to this comment
by mygramma March 13, 2008 12:16 AM EDT
Charlize is such a beautiful woman. I feel proud that she decided to become a citizen. I did not know about her ballet career or her knee injury. The same thing happened to Britney during a video shoot, although Brit was able to get hers fixed with orthroscopic surgery. But she doesn''t seem to be 100 percent on her dance legs yet
Reply to this comment
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