Her interest in acting was first sparked
after seeing the movie Splash. "I was
sitting there saying, 'I could have done that
part so much better. That should be me!’," she says
""Life wasn't about… 'Look how beautiful you are', it was about 'Did you milk the cow?'," says Charlize, who was raised on a farm near the town of Benoni, east of Johannesburg in South Africa. However, despite the fact that her first language was Afrikaans and her closest childhood friend was a goat, show biz seemed to be in her future.
"I was always a tomboy and a bit of a princess growing up," admits the latest star in the Hollywood firmament. A talented performer from an early age, she was ballet dancing by the time she was six, and danced professionally soon afterward in Johannesburg. She was nine when she saw Splash, sparking her interest in a film career. "I was in love with Tom Hanks, I hated Daryl Hannah," she says. "I was sitting there saying, 'I could have done that part so much better. That should be me!’."
While she dreamed of international stardom, Charlize grew up in a South Africa still governed by racial segregation. "I was raised by a family that did not believe in apartheid," she says of her early life. "My parents had a road construction company, and everybody lived on the farm with us. So I was raised from infancy with… different black cultures."