Charlize Theron Was Fired From $306M Film That Landed 6 Oscars

Charlize Theron Was Fired From $306M Film That Landed 6 Oscars
Image credit: Legion-Media

This megastar has turned down many roles in her career, but in this case it was the other way around.


  • Charlize Theron lost her spot in a critically acclaimed movie.
  • It would have been a meaningful project and a big break for the actress.
  • Theron would go on to superstardom, but she still regrets losing her role.

As one of the highest paid actresses in the world, there are few projects that are out of reach for Charlize Theron, but even a name as big as hers in the industry can have a role snatched from her fingers. Instead of Theron, another actress took the iconic role that won her a Golden Globe.

More often than not, stars are removed from projects after scandals or conflicts, but Theron lost her role in the 2002 black comedy musical Chicago simply due to a change of direction, but that didn't make it any less disappointing. Commenting on the movie, the South African-American actress said:

'For a while, I was attached to Chicago. I really wanted that — I was a dancer for most of my life, and there was a real nostalgia — the idea of making that movie for me. I got kicked off it.'

Her love for dance that made Chicago all the more meaningful

Before she starred in hit movies, Theron was an aspiring dancer. She studied ballet at the Joffrey Ballet School, but turned to acting after a knee injury ended her chances of a career in dance. She started her film career in the mid-90s, but it was her breakthrough role in 2 Days In The Valley that brought her into the spotlight and paved the way for her successful rise to stardom.

Lively and intense, Chicago remains a classic movie musical to this day, introducing the world to songs such as 'Cell Block Tango' and 'Razzle Dazzle' while making stars out of many of its cast members.

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Richard Gere, John C. Reilly and Queen Latifah also starred in the movie. The critically acclaimed film would have been a huge step in Theron's early career, and she was ready to star as Roxie Hart alongside Katherine Zeta-Jones' Velma Kelly as two murderers awaiting trial in jail.

So, what changed?

Theron was all set for her role in Chicago, but the story took a different turn and underwent some behind-the-scenes upheaval that included a change of director. The already successful Rob Marshall stepped in to direct the musical and did not want Theron, so she was replaced by Zellweger. Adding to the sting was the fact that Marshall never contacted her directly, and the news was broken to Theron by her manager.

Despite being 'bummed' about losing her role in Chicago, Theron had nothing but praise for the actress who took over the role of Roxie.

'She did an amazing job. So yeah, I'm fully envious of what she did … I've seen that movie a lot.'

Chicago was a critical and commercial success and one of the most talked-about movies of the year, winning 6 Academy Awards, with Zellweger winning a Golden Globe for Best Actress and an Oscar nomination.

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Things still ended well for Theron

Although Chicago will always be the role that slipped through her fingers, it did not hurt her career. Just a year after losing her role in Chicago, Charlize landed the lead role in Monster, where she transformed into serial killer Aileen Wuornos in a chilling performance that would win her a Best Actress Oscar.

From there, her fame only grew, and it's no surprise that she's one of the highest-paid female stars in the world. Having starred in smash hits like Mad Max: Fury Road, Atomic Blonde, Snow White and the Huntsman and many more, Charlize Theron is and will continue to excel in her career despite missing out on Chicago.