“I was not lying to myself”: Charlize Theron Admitted Her $32 Million Movie Was a Box Office Nightmare But One Good Thing Came Out of It For Her

Charlize Theron is a celebrated actress with a long list of critically acclaimed performances. Theron’s Academy Award and Golden Globe wins serve as a testimonial to her acting prowess. However, the Monster actress has also chosen some forgettable roles in her career. Among them, there is one movie that the Tully actress absolutely hated.


Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron

In 2000, Theron starred alongside Ben Affleck and Gary Sinise in the crime thriller film, Reindeer Games. The film was a critical and commercial failure, only grossing $32 million at the box office against a budget of $42 million.

Charlize Theron Hated The Movie But Did It Anyway For This Reason

Charlize Theron in a scene from Reindeer Games

CharlizeTheron in Reindeer Games

Charlize Theron was cast as Ashley Mercer / Millie Bobeck in the movie that explores the story of an ex-convict who becomes involved in planning a casino heist. Theron’s Fast X co-star Vin Diesel was initially cast in a significant role, but he had issues with the script and left the project. The same cannot be said for the Young Adult actress, who, despite having doubts about the script, decided to take on the film.

The Bombshell actress later openly admitted that Reindeer Games was a terrible movie. Theron further disclosed that the primary reason that attracted her to the movie was the chance to work with director John Frankenheimer. The Atomic Blonde actress told Esquire in 2008:

“Reindeer Games. That was a bad, bad, bad movie. But even though the movie might suck, I got to work with John Frankenheimer. I wasn’t lying to myself – that’s why I did it. I mean, he directed The Manchurian Candidate, which is like the movie of all movies. F**k regret. Just f**k it.”


Charlize Theron’s bad choice to work with the reputed director might have ultimately helped elevate her status to that of an established actress in Hollywood. Fans and critics agreed with the Hobbs & Shaw actress’ sentiments, as the movie received negative reviews across platforms with a mere 27% Rotten Tomatoes audience score.

What Went Wrong With The Movie To Make Charlize Theron Hate It?

A scene from Reindeer Games

Charlize Theron starred alongside Ben Affleck and Gary Sinise in Reindeer Games

Charlize Theron may have sensed the problems with the movie right from the get-go of filming. But movie viewers had to sit through two painful hours of the movie, to get to the verdict that it was a poorly written and badly executed film. Film critic Roger Ebert criticized the writer of the movie, Ehren Kruger, arguing that the movie’s weakest point was its ludicrous screenplay.

Interestingly, Kruger is the same writer behind Top Gun: Maverick, which was the second highest-grossing film in 2022. It is hard to believe that the acclaimed writer was responsible for the forgettable scenes and twists of this poorly conceived film. In essence, the movie appeared to be the result of a great director, a skilled writer, and talented actors having a few bad days.

However, some critics found the movie to be a passable two-hour flick. Fans can watch Charlize Theron’s least favorite movie, Reindeer Games, now available for streaming on Max.

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