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After gaining 30-plus pounds for her Academy Award®-winning turn in "Monster,” Theron was eager to take on the physical challenges of "Aeon Flux.” "I got very excited about how far I could actually push myself, and how many new things I could learn to do on my own on this film to really physically feel like I was this character,” she says. "I got excited about pushing my body to that limit.”

Theron trained for almost four months prior to the start of production. "When I began training, I hadn't done anything with my body for two years, says Theron. "I had to lose weight and build muscle, get some strength back. I wanted to get to a place where I felt stronger and more capable of doing the things that I had to do in this film.”

To lose the final pounds and build long, lean muscle, Theron combined gymnastics, trampoline and acrobatic work and dance with elements of karate, judo, Capoiera and Krav Maga, the Israeli fighting style. The aim was to build flexibility and strength.

Theron insists that stunt work is a necessary part of finding the character. "It was important to me — if I could believe in myself doing these things, then it wasn't so unrealistic,” says Theron. "That was a question that I asked myself every time we did a stunt. The physical aspect sometimes is so much more important than my lines of dialogue — and that's the case for a character as physical as Aeon. I know I am being helped at times by a wire and mats — there has to be a security blanket — but I think it is important to get as close as you possibly can to doing it yourself. I think it helps tremendously with playing a character like this.”

"We were very fortunate that we got Charlize,” said stunt coordinator Charlie Croughwell. "She is as dedicated, strong, and as capable as you could hope for in any actor. Aeon Flux is a human being with a purpose and a great deal of knowledge, skill and discipline. Charlize's physicality is very flexible.”

Theron trained with Cirque du Soleil gymnast Terry Bartlett, who guided her through the acrobatic, trampoline, and wire work. Mika Saito was on-hand to help with strength training and other stunt work.

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