Charlize Theron Is Only Famous Because She Yelled At A Bank Teller In Real Life

Charlize Theron's yelling at a bank teller led to her signing with the agent, John Crosby.

By Robert Scucci | Updated

At this point in time, Charlize Theron is well known for her dramatic range, ability to perform her own mind-blowing stunts, and of course, being one of the primary sources of antagonism in the Fast and Furious franchise. But even A-list stars come from humble beginnings. In fact, according to Cheat Sheet, Theron was offered representation by John Crosby after he saw the young, struggling actress causing a scene at the bank after the teller refused to cash an out-of-state check that she so desperately needed to cash.

It’s safe to say that Charlize Theron was channeling her inner Furiosa when she couldn’t cash her check, and we’ve all been in similar situations. When you live paycheck to paycheck, every dollar counts, and when you aren’t allowed to access your hard-earned funds, it’s easy to let your emotions get the best of you.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Charlize Theron said, “I was trying to cash my last check from a modeling job in New York, but because it was an out-of-state check, the bank wouldn’t accept it—and I really needed the money.” She described her meltdown as pleading for help, but she must have really leaned into the bank employee to get the attention of John Crosby, who also represented John Hurt and Rene Russo at the time. And the rest is history; sometimes, the dramatic energy we all admire on the silver screen comes from a place of desperation that only real-life struggles could inspire.

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Though Charlize Theron’s cries for cash aren’t the first time that one’s behavior off-screen can land them acting work. Martin Scorsese has even gone on record stating that Ray Liotta was ultimately cast as Henry Hill in Goodfellas because of how he handled an encounter with his security detail at the Excelsior Hotel. It was Liotta’s quiet and confident charm that made Scorsese see that he would be the perfect gangster in the film.

In the case of Charlize Theron, this exchange at the bank may not have been her finest hour, but it teaches us a valuable lesson: whether you’re at your best or your worst, you are being noticed! John Crosby saw a fire in Charlize Theron on that day, and he knew that he’d be able to stoke the flame if the young, struggling actress only had an opportunity to prove herself. And he was right to read the room in the way that he did because the Atomic Blonde star has proven time and time again that she is a force to be reckoned with.

But it’s worth noting that although this singular incident may have been instrumental in taking her career to new heights, that Charlize Theron already had steady acting and modeling work at this point in time. In other words, if we were on a different timeline, Theron would have probably proven herself in one way or another due to her raw talent and her innate ability to persevere. She was already out there doing the thing, and if John Crosby didn’t discover her on that fateful day, it would only have been a matter of time before she landed a life-changing role, and her career would have probably had a similar trajectory.