Immigrant of the week

Charlize Theron has had quite a big year, with her most recent film, Bombshell, hitting home in 2020. She plays former Fox News host, Megyn Kelly, in a powerful film about the women who joined the sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes. Although you can’t hear an accent in most of her movies, Charlize is actually from South Africa. Charlize grew up in Johannesburg, and although she is fluent in English, the first language that she spoke was Afrikaans.

She began her career first as a model, where she moved to Milan with her mother. After her modeling career took off, she attended Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. However, Theron suffered a knee injury, which shook her career. This shakeup is what transitioned her into her acting career, and she moved to LA shortly after her injury. Some of her most famous roles to date including Mad Max: Fury Road, Atomic Blonde, The Italian Job, Young Adult, Prometheus, The Cider House Rules, and so many more.

Charlize officially became an American citizen in 2007. In previous interviews, she has spoken out about the tireless process of going through the immigration system in the United States. In one interview with CBS News, she explains, “Well I’ve always wanted to be a citizen they didn’t want to take me. It’s quite a process you have to work hard, you know, study up…”. A celebrity’s complicated reaction to the immigration system today is undoubtedly reflective of how much harder it is for any immigrant to come to the United States.


— Contributed by Eden Siskind

Greg Siskind