Charlize Theron: "I Had No Teeth Until I Was 11"

Celebrity News May. 16, 2012 AT 6:00PM
Charlize Theron attends the world premiere of Snow White and the Huntsman at Empire Leicester Square on May 14, 2012 in London, England. Charlize Theron attends the world premiere of Snow White and the Huntsman at Empire Leicester Square on May 14, 2012 in London, England. Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage.com

New mom Charlize Theron didn't always have a reason to smile.

The Oscar winner, 36, tells British paper The Sun her "early childhood was quite devastating" because she "had no teeth until I was 11."

Because she "had jaundice as a kid," the Snow White and the Huntsman actress "was put on so many antibiotics that my teeth rotted. They had to cut them out."

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"So I never had milk teeth. That was tough, you know, being in school having photos taken while I was pretending I had teeth," Theron recalls. "It was hideous."

Years later, when she was 16, Theron -- bearing a dazzling smile at last -- was discovered by a modeling scout. "It was totally by mistake. My mother thought it would be a funny joke. Modeling was never a passion of mine, but it was this incredible opportunity."

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"I grew up in South Africa and I would look at maps and we were at the bottom of the world. There was this whole thing up there. I was always reading encyclopedias about the world. So travel was something I was always attracted to. So when the scout said, 'You can go to Milan!' I was like, 'Ah, hi!' . . . I hadn't even been on a plane prior to that."

In her interview with The Sun, Theron also opens up about her son Jackson, who she adopted in mid-March. "I've never felt more creative and with more energy but on the tiniest amount of sleep. I never knew I needed that little sleep. I always had eight hours and now it's, 'Wow, OK, you can function on just four.' But Jackson is great. I've always been very aware of balance and, even before I had a child, my life always takes priority to my work."

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The Prometheus actress added: "I feel very blessed that I have this job but my job is not my life. I'm really lucky that I get to go and do this, but my life is pretty kick-ass, and I take real priority in that."

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