Christina Hendricks, 40, Is Okay Playing 39-Year-Old Charlize Theron’s Mom in Dark Places

Christina Hendricks Was Asked to Play Mother of Charlize Theron
Christina Hendricks is okay with playing Patty Day - the mother of Charlize Theron's character - in Dark Places. Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Niche Media; David Buchan/Getty Images

Christina Hendricks is in Gillian Flynn's film adaptation of Dark Places, but her final role isn't quite as she envisioned it to be. The Mad Men star signed on to the big screen drama to play Krissi Cates, a stripper harboring secrets about the death of the Day family, but the actress, who was drawn into the role's uniqueness, was later thrown for a loop when producers asked her to play an entirely different role on the first day of filming.

Rather than Krissi, Hendricks was asked to play Patty Day — the mother of 39-year-old Charlize Theron's character!

"I got there and was doing a hair and makeup test [as Krissi] and was putting on this long blonde wig, and then they said, 'Charlize and Gilles [Paquet-Brenner, the director] would like to see you on set.' And I thought, 'Okay, they're not going to like the wig, I get it,'" Hendricks recalled to Us Weekly.

As it turns out, the wig wasn’t even part of the conversation. "They said, 'We lost our Patty. And we were wondering if you want to play Patty Day instead of Krissi,'" Hendricks added. "I came about it in a very odd way . . . [and] it threw me for a loop, but it ended up working out."

However, as Dark Places book devotees will recall, it won't be that odd to see Hendricks on-screen as Theron's character’s mother. In Flynn's best seller, the Patty Day story line is illustrated in flashbacks. "It was one of those scripts that I couldn't put down. Which is not always the case, sometimes you procrastinate and have to get up and make a sandwich in between lines, but this was a page turner," Hendricks, replaced by Drea De Matteo as Krissi, said. "Obviously with all the great people involved in it, I wanted to be a part of it."

Theron appears in the film as Libby Day, who witnessed her family being murdered when she was just 8-years-old. As in the book, Libby goes on a crusade to uncover just why her brother, Ben (Corey Stoll), was fingered as the murder.

Dark Places opens on Aug. 7.

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