Charlize Theron Says She Never Ghosted Sean Penn

charlize theron WSJ cover - S 2016
Courtesy of WSJ Magazine

But she did demand the same pay as Chris Hemsworth for 'The Huntsman: Winter's War.'

When Charlize Theron and Sean Penn abruptly ended their 18-month relationship, the Oscar-winning actress inadvertently found herself as a face used to help define "ghosting." Outlets from Jezebel to The New York Times ran photos of the couple above reports detailing how she broke up with the actor by vanishing from his life like, well, an apparition. (The "ultimate silent treatment," wrote the Times.)

Not true, Theron asserts in the new issue of WSJ. Magazine, out April 2 and featuring stunning images (photographed by Josh Olins, styled by Clare Richardson). In fact, she says she still can't rattle off the real definition of the term.

"There is this need to sensationalize things," the actress says to WSJ. contributor Alex Bhattacharji. “When you leave a relationship there has to be some f---ing crazy story or some crazy drama. And the f---ing ghosting thing, like literally I still don't even know what it is. … It’s just its own beast. We were in a relationship and then it didn’t work anymore. And we both decided to separate. That's it."

That’s actually not it. The mother of two — she adopted son Jackson and daughter August, both of whom are written about here — also gets honest on a variety of subjects that are just as worthy of headlines as her love life, while promoting her role as Ravenna in the sequel The Huntsman: Winter’s War, in theaters on April 21.

On insisting on getting the same pay as Huntsman co-star Chris Hemsworth and how the Sony hack helped (because it revealed Jennifer Lawrence didn't make the same amount of money as her male co-stars): 
"Look, when I saw that Jennifer Lawrence made what she made in comparison to Bradley Cooper, I was definitely shocked. The way people have been writing about it, it sounds like the Sony hack was what motivated me. My feeling would have still been, If we’re going to do it again, shouldn’t we start on equal footing? Because, trust me, we weren’t on equal footing there."

On the comedic skills of her Huntsman co-stars Hemsworth, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain:
"Emily’s funny. Jessica’s funny. Chris is pretty. He pret-ty. He’s actually really f---ing funny. I’ve had moments with him where I peed a little bit — that funny."

On the challenges of working with Mad Max: Fury Road co-star Tom Hardy, with whom she butted heads during the exhaustive shoot:
"From what I hear, he’s not like that on every movie — I hear he’s had good experiences (laughs). Maybe the movie is what it is because we struggled so much with each other, and those characters had to struggle so much with each other. If we were chum-chum, maybe the movie would have been 10 times worse."

On whether Penn was on board to adopt her son:
"The stories saying that Sean was going to adopt Jackson and all of that were not true. It’s not something that happens in 18 months. You can’t do that to a child. So there was an understanding that I was a single mom with a very young boy who I had to put in a situation where he understood that Mommy dates but that he does not have a father, you know what I mean? You have to be very careful and very honest about that stuff. And Sean was great with all of that."

But if you need another reason to swoon over the South African stunner, consider Blunt's take:
"Charlize knows what she deserves. She wasn't afraid to ask for it — or to work for it. Everything she gets, she’s earned. Charlize is the most self-possessed person. She doesn’t baby you — she treats you like a grown-up. And after the take, she tells you the dirtiest of dirty jokes."

For the full story, click here.

MODEL MOMENT: Charlize Theron appears in the new issue of WSJ. Magazine (Photo: Josh Olins for WSJ.)