John Esther: That leads me into something I’m still working on about the fact there are a lot of movies these days that have bisexual characters. Your character actually uses the word “bisexual.” Do you see that as a reflection of what’s going on with young people today dealing with their sexuality?

Charlize Theron: The thing that’s interesting about both of these characters, and I think is quite the norm—though people might not agree with me—is that in general it’s really just about the search for love. I think Gilda and Aileen have that in common, but for different reasons. Aileen was an outcast who was just willing to accept love from anybody, so her preference was not whether it was a man or a woman. It was just a human being that would accept her the way she was and not judge her for the things she did. With Gilda it was somewhat similar, only the difference is that Gilda knew she had a very short time to live and wanted to experience everything, all the different kinds of love that you can experience in one lifetime. So the physical aspect becomes kind of her quick fix, and the friendship she has with Mia is that of finding a woman in her life who can care for her and be a great friend, somebody that she can teach—which I thought was very important to her—and at the same time be open to the idea of actually having that go further to a more physical level. But with both relationships she can’t have any of that, whether it’s being bisexual or being heterosexual. She can’t have any of it because she’s exploring so many different things, wanting to experience so many different things, that she never really focuses on what her heart says and just letting that play out.

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