Unleashing the inner teen! Charlize Theron dished details about her high-profile relationship with her fiancé Sean Penn to Esquire in its May 2015 cover story, describing their dynamic like a giddy schoolgirl.
According to the Dark Places actress, 39, their romance began as a friendship. "We’ve been friends for twenty years," she noted. "He was married [to ex-wife Robin Wright], I was in a long-term relationship [with Stuart Townsend], our spouses—not regularly, but we were in each other’s lives. I think our friendship stemmed from mutual respect—more on my end, because I really didn’t have a body of work twenty years ago, but my love and passion for making films—that was our common ground."
Theron said she found his perspective refreshing. "And also, Sean liked to have conversations outside of just making movies. That’s sometimes hard to find among friends here, and that’s where our friendship really blossomed,” the South African native shared, adding that their charity work helped make that bond even tighter.
"A lot of people want to tell you the answer to solving all of Africa’s problems from what they’ve seen on CNN. Sean is not that guy," she continued. "When he started working in Haiti and I started working on the AIDS front in South Africa, we spent a lot of time talking about those worlds. I think that for both of us there was never a moment where we thought that this—what we have today—would ever even be a possibility. Evereverever. I think we’re both finding ourselves at this moment in our lives kind of shocked. Both of us. Just when you think you know how things are supposed to go down, life just kicks you in the ass and guess what? You don’t have a clue."
Theron reflected about the differences between her current and previous relationships. "It is nice to be in something where the friendship came first. I’ve never had that," she mused. "There’s a weight to the relationship already that I don’t think you have when you just meet somebody and enter a relationship," she explained. "There’s a foundation of twenty years that the two of us have shared with each other in all these different ways that is really the foundation of something that has brought a lot of beautiful things into my life. We get so stuck in wanting to predict the future that we forget the moment that we’re in. And the moment that we’re in is just really good."
According to the Oscar winner, life with her man is "really good, really nice. The marriage thing is always so strange to me anyway," she noted. "I love the possibility of anything, but I’m really enjoying myself and the everyday moment and how that coincides with my son and my life and my friends. I’m a very, very, very lucky girl. Very lucky. He’s hot. He is hot. How do you say that in an interview? You’re a forty-year-old woman sounding like a sixteen-year-old. There’s something beautiful about that, but you lack the articulation of really saying what it’s like when somebody walks into your life and makes you see something that you really never thought you’d be able to see."
She reflected: "If somebody had said to me, ‘This is what it will be,’ I would’ve said, 'F— off.' As you can see, it makes me smile."
Like his stunning significant other, 54-year-old Penn also praised Theron in an interview with Esquire UK last month. "You say I've been married twice before, but I’ve been married under circumstances where I was less informed than I am today," Penn said of his previous marriages to Madonna and Wright. "So I wouldn’t even consider [Charlize] a third marriage, I’d consider it a first marriage on its own terms if I got married again. I mean, I like the tradition."
Penn told the mag that his relationship surprised him as much as it shocked her. "It could seem too late. But to run into somebody now who you care about is a much more passionate, deeper, truer and – God! – a much happier feeling," he continued. "It’s a lot more romantic and a lot more fulfilling to be in a relationship and to think you’re a good person within it."
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