Los Angeles: Actress Charlize Theron's mother influenced her to pursue acting after her career as a ballerina did not work out the way she had planned.
"I was a ballerina from the time I was four years old and I thought that's what I'd always do. I left South Africa at 16 and studied abroad and supported myself by modelling. I ended up in New York and soon realised that my career was over and my knees had said goodbye to me and I'd never thought of a plan B," Theron told Notebook magazine when asked if she always wanted to be an actress.
The 43-year-old star says it was her mother Gerda, who told her to try her hand at acting, after noticing how her daughter was struggling to make a name for herself in the ballet world, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
"She flew out to see me in December, it was freezing, and I was living in a basement with no windows eating Häagen-Dazs. I said to her 'I don't know what to do.' She said, 'You were never the best ballerina. Technically there were a lot of other girls way better than you, but when you were the dying swan, you were the f***ing dying swan - that's your strong point'.
"And it sounds so ridiculous, but she then said, 'You know, I hear they make those movies in Los Angeles, you should go. You don't want to be 80 and on your deathbed and wonder what could have been.' And boy, was she right. So I owe her a lot."
Theron then headed to Los Angeles and after almost being left homeless when she found herself struggling to get work, she was discovered in a bank.