One year after winning an Oscar by transforming herself into a "Monster," actress and former model Charlize Theron is once again building awards-season buzz with the similarly unattractive role of a poverty-stricken, sexually harassed mother in the upcoming film, "North Country." But it's her titular role in this December's big-screen adaptation of the landmark animation series "Aeon Flux" that has fans buzzing as they speculate about every detail of the black-haired assassin's world.
"How much money do you have?" Theron laughed when prodded for details about the science-fiction action flick. And although she had not been familiar with the early-1990s, adult-themed cartoon on MTV's now-defunct "Liquid Television" when it first aired, the statuesque actress said the filmmakers were happy to give her a crash course.
"When you make a film, you have to pay attention to your audience, and we did. I wasn't aware of the show before I started this film, but I really related to the story. I really liked it. If you like the old [series], then I think you will love this. [But] I don't think that you have to know it or be a fan of it to enjoy it, because I certainly knew nothing about it and had to really educate myself."
One topic of speculation among the original series' online fanbase, as well as those who are simply intrigued by the ideas of Theron playing a futuristic rebel and stone-cold killer, is the oversized, jet-black left eyeball shown briefly in the movie's trailer.
"It's a lens that she keeps in her head," Theron revealed. "She can drop it in at any time to kind of magnify things for her, like her own little lab. She's got a lab eye."
Audience eyeballs have been busy, as well, as a limited number of scenes already released have shown Theron in a real-life version of Aeon's trademark tight, black, form-fitting costume. But the actress is quick to point out that Aeon's uniform in the original show was far skimpier, and far more unrealistic.
"I did all my stunts, and there's no way that you can do all of that stuff with a G-string and two flaps," she smiled. "That was the reality of what we had to do."
"We wanted to put a more modern spin on it," Theron continued, insisting that for this character, clothes really do make the woman. "I still think that there is that kind of sexual fierceness about what she wears, and she doesn't just wear one costume in the thing. It's still sexy, but it's not as revealing as the cartoon, because it's just impossible to do what I had to do in that little bit of clothing."
Finally, Theron faced down one question being repeatedly asked by the fans: In the original show, many episodes ended with Aeon's death, followed by the character beginning the next installment as if in a video game, using up her next life. So, will Aeon die yet again?
"Well, that would be a secret, now wouldn't it?" she smiled coyly, before offering some words of comfort for the loyalists. "Look, it definitely celebrates a lot of the original 'Aeon' stuff, and that's why we wanted to make the film. We didn't throw all of it out; we didn't throw the baby out with the bath water. But I think that there is some new stuff to it that very much feels like the original, that I think people will be thoroughly surprised by.
"It really feels like 'Aeon' to me," Theron concluded.
The uninitiated and avid series fans alike will find out soon enough how Theron and her colleagues have fared with their big-screen translation; "Aeon Flux" rises from the dead yet again on December 2.
[Coming soon: MTV.com will also preview issue #1 of the "Aeon Flux" comic book, including exclusive images.]
Check out everything we've got on "Aeon Flux."
See what "Aeon Flux" creator Peter Chung and the film's screenwriters have to say about the movie and the series.
Check out our "Aeon Flux" set visit in Berlin.
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