Charlize Theron may be one of Hollywood’s most sought-after action movie stars, but she has had to slay quite a bit of sexism along the way. 

Speaking at Comic-Con (virtually), she recalled being asked to do more driving training for 2003’s The Italian Job, simply because she was a woman. 

The 44-year-old Oscar winner said: “I realized there was still so much misconception around women and the genre. Even though in that film, the action is really based on cars, we had to physically do a lot of that stuff. There was a real pressure to pull off those stunts with the actors. … There was a very unfair process that went with that. I was the only woman with a bunch of guys and I remember vividly getting the schedule in our pre-production, and they had scheduled me for six weeks more hard training than any of the guys. It was just so insulting.”

She starred alongside Mark Wahlberg (Charlie Croker), Jason Statham (Handsome Rob), Edward Norton (Steve), Seth Green (Lyle), Mos Def (Left Ear) and Donald Sutherland (John Bridger) in the action movie, which followed a group of thieves trying to recover gold following a heist gone wrong in Venice.

Theron said it inspired her to show them what she was capable of: [“I was like, ‘All right, you guys want to play this game, let’s go.’ I made it a point to outdrive all of those guys. I vividly remember Mark Wahlberg, halfway through one of our training sessions, pulling over and throwing up because he was so nauseous from doing 360s.”] SOUNDCUE (:15 OC: . . .from doing 360s.)

That desire to prove her worth has driven her career: “When I started my action career, it was so important to sell the authenticity of, ‘Yes, I can fight and I can take this guy down and I can survive this.’ There was such a level of wanting to prove that to audiences who for years said, ‘No, a woman could never fight a guy that size.’”

"The good news now is that we've kind of changed the genre for women," she added. "I think there's great evidence where we now know you can't hide behind ignorance anymore. Audiences love these films."

Charlize Theron on Sexism :