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Exclusive! Charlize Theron On Exes, Old Loves & Girl Crushes

Exclusive! Charlize Theron On Exes, Old Loves & Girl Crushes

Charlize Theron is talking about love. The question actually revolves around exes —should you ever look up an ex, or will that lead to a big old ex-mess?

Over tea at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New York City, 36-year-old Theron laughs and shakes her head. She's miles of long legs in person, which are wrapped in black tights. She wears a tight black skirt and a gorgeous white cashmere sweater. Her hair is glossy blonde and just graces her chin.

An edgy Grace Kelly comes to mind. But this princess is prince-less these days.

"I don't know if it's a good or bad thing to call up an old love. I've never done it. I certainly wouldn't do it if they were married with a newborn baby," Charlize says.

That's what her character, Mavis Gary, an author of young adult novels, does in the new movie, Young Adult. Theron plays a semi-famous author who is divorced and living alone in the big city. She decides to hightail it back to her hometown in Minnesota and reclaim her high school boyfriend. The rub is that he's happily married with a new baby. 'Young Adult:' Do You Ever Still Think About Your First Love?

It's a role that Theron loves and one that just earned her a Golden Globe nomination this morning (surely, an Oscar nod will follow). Who will she bring to the award shows? Theron is single these days after breaking off an engagement with former boyfriend, Stuart Townsend. However, she seems more than happy to discuss her views on love and old flames with us:

Let's talk love. Do you remember your first crush? Did he crush back on you?
In high school, I wasn't popular. I was obsessed with ballet and wore nerdy glasses. I was as blind as blind could be. Meanwhile, I had a massive crush on this guy. In fact, a journalist from Vogue recently interviewed me and found this guy. He told the reporter, "Yeah, the crush was mutual."

Was it mutual?
It was so not mutual! He even said, "What I remember is she wore these thick glasses!"

You try to steal someone's hubby in Young Adult. What are your views on this situation where you're clearly "The Bad Girl"?
We come from a society where everyone is still comfortable to label women as either the Madonna or the whore. We're either really good hookers or we're really good mothers. But we're nothing in-between. I'm not a fan of labels. I think it's very easy to look at someone and just throw a label on them. They're a bitch or they're crazy. I think that's a cop out. Charlize Theron: Single For The First Time Since Age 19!

You're not condoning what your character does in the film, right?
Not at all. I'm not someone who justifies bad behavior. I just don't have a lot of empathy for putting a tag on someone. Believe me, this thing she's trying to do in the film is despicable. But the funny thing is I was never disgusted by her. I never had a hard time with her. I never thought, "You know, I don't really like you"... I like playing characters who suck all the air out of the room. This woman is an air sucker. But it's in a funny way that made her fascinating. It's obvious that she's absolutely delusional, but I didn't want to focus on, "Should she do two hours a week of therapy or four hours?" I didn't want to ask, "What meds should she be on?" She was just a beautiful car wreck and there is no cure.

Yeah, but would you let this kind of woman around your guy?
I'd love to have a beer with this character. But I would never ever let her hang out with my boyfriend.

What would an Oscar nomination for this role mean for you?
I can't even think about anything like that. I know it sounds so unbelievably cliché. I haven't worked in almost three years and to have the opportunity to come back and do something like this with (screenwriter) Diablo Cody and (director) Jason Reitman with this kind of material has been a great gift. Plus, I already have an Oscar. What an a**hole thing to say!

What do you know about love?
More than this character. In the movie, unfortunately, I deal with the topic of visiting my ex the way a 16-year-old would deal with it. Mavis says, "Don't you know that love will conquer all?" I know that's a very adolescent view of love. You have to grow up. Charlize Theron: 'Marriage Is Not Important To Me'

The word is you weren't the most popular girl in high school.
I had a lot of mean girl moments directed against me. That's because I was pretty much a mess. There was a really popular girl in my school and I was obsessed with her. Like, you could go to jail for it today. I was in tears one day because I couldn't sit by her. I have issues, OK.

Did you ever see her again?
A few weeks ago, I was at a fitting in London. This girl goes, "Hey, I know you. You're Sharlene." It was that girl, my obsession! And nothing had changed. She didn't even know my real name!

Tell us: have you seen Young Adult? What did you think?

Photo Credit: Getty