Fatale Of The Furious: Charlize Theron Talks Being Bad In 'Fast 8'

Image via Universal Pictures

As Fate Of The Furious—the eighth chapter in a franchise that shows no sign of ending any time soon—the characters have pretty much gone their separate ways having been exonerated of all previous charges. Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are on their honeymoon and the rest of the gang have scattered around the world, enjoying their lives. But, as tends to happen, chaos rears its head, in this case in the form of Charlize Theron as the mysterious Cipher.

In ways that aren’t exactly clear at this point, she’s able to corrupt Dom, turning him against his wife and friends/family as he engages in criminal activities. It comes down to DSS Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) bringing the team back together again, while also calling on imprisoned assassin Deckard Shaw (Jason Stratham) to stop Dom and Cipher.

South Africa-born Theron, an Academy Award winner for her role in the 2003 film Monster, counts among her credits The Devil’s Advocate (1997), The Cider House Rules (1999), The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion (2001), Hancock (2008), Snow White And The Huntsman and Prometheus (both 2012), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) and will be kicking some serious ass this July when Atomic Blonde is released.

Who Is Cipher?

“At her core, she is rapacious, and she definitely suffers from wanting it all and in moments, not even knowing why she wants it all. That says a lot about a character. I do think that there is something about her that we haven't quite fully delved into in this film, which lends itself to great possibilities later. But just off the bat, there's something great about witnessing a character just really coming in and taking what she wants, and doing it in a way that's not something that we've seen before. That's also the challenge, you know? I remember saying to [writer] Chris Morgan, ‘Nothing she ever decides to do or actually gets away with doing can be of easy choice.’ That makes for a challenging writing and challenging in playing it, but I think we came up with something that feels organic and also feels unusual in how it's kind of laid out and also in the cause and effect of it.”

How Would You Describe Her Look?

“As much as we worked on the character and the development of wanting to create somebody that was unusual, we had to come up with a look that could celebrate that and kind of fit that person. My assistant actually came up with the hair. She just kind of out of nowhere said, "You should do dreadlocks." I think everybody went to the quintessential idea of what you have when you think of dreadlocks, but kind of figuring out a way to finesse that into something that was very sleek and almost dangerous-looking. Like her hair could be weapons, like her hair could hurt you, but still at the same time, really beautiful. That was really fun. The clothes were a lot of fun. I didn't want to do the tight little business dresses or business suits that everybody kind of thought of initially for her. It was something I thought of with her. She was more artistic than that. Even though she's so evil, there's something kind of cool about her.”

Why Does She Turn Her Attention To Dom?

“The reason why she chooses him is because he might have the most vulnerable aspect to his character than any of the other characters. That makes her even more delicious, because she can kind of prey on those vulnerabilities. I don't think any of the other characters would have lent themselves to the possibility of forcing somebody into a corner the way Dom allows her to do that. There are things that are so important to Dom's character, to Dom as a character, that the threat of losing any of those things makes him more of a pawn for her. That’s why she chooses him. She also likes the challenge of knowing that he is somebody who swore his entire life that he would never break his code. She loves the challenge of taking on somebody like that and actually getting them to break their code.”

What Was It Like Shooting In Cuba?

“That was so historical. It was very fast and furious, the whole experience of being there and shooting. I just kept telling myself, I kept thinking, 'Gosh, you know, this is something in years to come that is going to be so cool, that we were one of the first crews to do that or the first crew to do that. That's so amazing to be part of that.'"

You Talked About Dom As A Character, What About Working With Vin Diesel As An Actor?

“I think we were both excited about the prospect of doing something that would be surprising. The concept was surprising on its own, and the details of that surprise was in every scene and every moment with each other. I think we both kind of relished in that. It was a little bit like we would show up every day and we knew what the space was. Ninety-percent of the time, it was just me and him in the room shooting five, six pages of dialogue. You can have a lot of fun with another actor when you get to do interesting things like that, and get to really have a play on words and meaning when you're allowed to kind of push everything outside of its comfort zone. I think we both had a lot of fun at that.”

Fate Of The Furious opens in theaters on April 14th.

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