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“Creepy and kooky" aren't the first words that spring to mind when you think of Charlize Theron, but the 46-year-old is embracing her inner goth this autumn as she resumes the role of Morticia in The Addams Family 2.
And Charlize was thrilled to bring Morticia back to life again for the latest instalment in the spooky franchise.
Speaking exclusively to Tyla, Charlize said: “It was fun because the second time around, it feels like all the legwork you did on the first one you don’t really have to do for the second one, what does she sound like, what is that cadence? It’s just more of an understanding around it, which makes a sequel fun to do."
“I think I was so panicked that the first time around because I had never really done anything like this. I had done different versions of it but this just felt so new to me. The second time around it was a bit more relaxed and I just had more fun with it.
"First and foremost I would say the movie is really funny. The movie really kind of lives and breathes in its kind of dry sense of humor, its oddness of pointing out the weird and the obscure and the things that I guess feel so counter to what you would think of as a family."
Like many projects that are scheduled for release this year, The Addams Family 2 was recorded over lockdown, with specialist equipment being sent to the actors’ homes for crystal clear sound recording as if they were in a studio.
And for Charlize, setting up her own place to film was a family affair.
“We just had to manage really, it was the only option we had,” she says. “Thank God it was an animated film, so it was possible.
“Once we set up a space in my house where we could do it, and I had to learn some type of skills to record myself, it was actually really fun! It was nice to have a distraction during the lockdown, and something I could do, and something weirdly that my kids got involved in quite a bit.”
It’s all the more fitting that Charlize’s two young daughters, Jackson and August, enjoyed getting involved while at home. Family is at the very heart of The Addams Family 2, with the sequel seeing Morticia and Gomez dismayed at seeing their little ones, Wednesday and Pugsley, growing up and getting older. Realising they may not have so much time together left as a family unit, the family organise to go on a road-trip – and as always, various hijinks occur.
“Our children growing up is the one thing as parents we can’t avoid,” Charlize says. “Sometimes, that’s the toughest thing. There are moments where I take like, mental photos. This morning I woke up with my little one next to me and she just opened her eyes and I was like, I’m going to remember this moment because that’s not going to be the case forever. They’re not going to want to sleep in your bed anymore. You want to hold onto those things as much as possible because, ultimately, it’s going to change.”
Charlize also appreciates the family dynamic between the Addams family – and that while they’re all starkly different compared to those around them, they rejoice in those differences and embrace that fact. For Charlize, who adopted both her daughters, it’s a particularly important message for children to learn; your family doesn’t have to look or be like everyone else’s to be appreciated.
“Representation really matters,” she says. “The more we can see the differences, the more we will understand each other better, and that’s the thing we are lacking. We need more diversity in our storytelling, we need different type of stories that might be in the marginalised groups.
“Any idea or any concept where we can embrace and drop our guard and watch the Addams family be as different as they are, the more we will have empathy and the mould of what we think family should be.”
Looking at her character, actor Charlize doesn’t believe she’s particularly similar to Morticia. “There is an element that I really love and can relate to with her,” she says. “There’s definitely a dry sense of humour that she has with her kids that I have with my kids, not that my kids quite understand it fully yet. Sometimes they’re like, ‘why is Mom being so weird and her face isn’t moving?’
“But there’s definitely a part of me that understands her coming from that place of never being overly cuddly with her kids. I just think she’s really funny. She feels to me as someone who actually deeply cares and is deeply invested in her family.”
Which is why, Charlize believes, it’s so hard for parents when their little ones stop being quite so little.
“Your children will break your heart, and the film does touch upon this,” she says. “Your kids eventually become their own people and they don’t necessarily want to be around you but that does not mean that you lose this bond that you have for the rest of their life.
“This film I think really touches upon that. It’s hard to hear your kids say, ‘you’re not my family, you’re just too weird and I cannot be part of this family’, but then ultimately coming around to realise you can still be an individual within your family.
“So it’s a good thing when your mom is annoying and she feels embarrassing to you. That’s what being a family is.”
The Addams Family 2 is out in cinemas from today.
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