Did you know Atomic Blonde, Charlize Theron’s bad-ass new blockbuster (read our review here!), was originally based on a graphic novel? Called The Coldest City, the comic is very different in tone to the movie, which means that the producers — including Theron — had to make a lot of changes to turn it into the neon-soaked action-fest you’ll see in theaters. To learn more, Nerdist sat down with none other than Charlize Theron herself in Berlin, where the film takes place, to discuss her involvement in the adaptation process.
One of the biggest surprises you might have while reading The Coldest City after watching Atomic Blonde (but not before, unless you want to spoil the plot of the movie for yourself!) is that the character Sofia Boutella plays was originally written to be a man. Despite the gender change, the character’s relationship to Lorraine isn’t altered in any way, including their romantic entanglement — which means that effectively, the film created an example of queer representation (and bisexual representation, as Lorraine also expresses interest in men) where there wasn’t one before, which is still exceedingly rare in Hollywood.[brightcove video_id=”5522691397001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=”rJs2ZD8x”]
The plan to make Lasalle a female character came from writer Kurt Johnstad (who also wrote 300 and is reportedly working on the Aquaman script for Warner Brothers) during the script development process with Theron’s production company, Denver & Delilah. The second she heard the idea, she told Nerdist, she loved it.
“[We] just wanted this spy aspect of this story to have as many surprises as possible — not crazy surprises, but things that were real on a human level,” she said, dismissing other spy movie backstories as old hat. “To kind of show how hard it is for her to share intimacy with another person just because of the world that she’s in, and how secretive that world is and how dangerous it can be to show any vulnerability.”
She continued, “To have that [vulnerability] be with somebody that is of the same sex as her — story-wise, it made more sense. It lends itself to an element of surprise, because it’s not the same thing you see in all of these spy movies, where the guy meets the girl and now I’m just waiting for them to get in bed.”
But that’s not all Charlize Theron talked about that day, of course! Check out the rest of the video to hear her thoughts on how empowering her stunt training was, and how you might actually be a better spy by standing out in a crowd. Heck, we even asked her about that time she told fans that walking like a queen in Snow White and the Huntsman was as easy as tightening your core and thinking “MURDER,” because who hasn’t used that trick to feel more confident about themselves since then? I think about it, like, once a week.
Are you psyched to see some serious butt get kicked this weekend when Atomic Blonde hits theaters on July 28? Let us know in the comments below!