We know, we know. The big takeaway from Charlize Theron's May cover shoot for W is how fan-freaking-tastic she looks in black leather and body oil. But, if you dig a little deeper and acutally bother to read her accompanying interview, you'll discover there's more to this leading lady than stunning looks.
The Oscar winner touched on topics like dancing with Channing Tatum, crushing on Tom Hanks, and going bald for Mad Max: Fury Road before swinging the conversation to motherhood. Theron is mother to three-year-old Jackson, and credits her transition to parenthood in her late 30s for giving her "perspective" on the aging process.
"I think, like many women, I was judgmental toward women as they aged," Theron told writer Lynn Hirschberg. "Women, in our society, are compartmentalized so that we start to feel like we’re cut flowers and after a while we will wilt. I realize now that’s not the case — we can celebrate every age. That’s my encouragement to 20-year-olds who are terrified of getting older: Don’t have a nervous breakdown and don’t hit the Chardonnay too hard. Getting older is not that bad. Actually, I’m a complete alcoholic, but, please, don’t worry."
She's joking about that last bit, but she's serious about urging younger women to embrace aging more. Here's her advice to her own 20-year-old self.
"I would say, 'Calm down,'" she said. "I was always in a rush. I felt like time was going to run out. Now that I’m older, I know I’m not missing out on anything. Now, I go home, and that feels really good. When I hit 30, I realized I didn’t have to please everybody. I could actually enjoy life, which is not a bad thing at all."
Jotting that down. After all, if it's good enough for Charlize, it's good enough for us.
Click through for more Mert Alas-lensed images and soundbites from the interview.