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Oprah: What did you splurge on?

Charlize: I'm not a big sweets person, but I love savory cheeses and creams and breads and pastas. I crave them so badly.

Oprah: That's fantastic, girl.

Charlize: After a while, it's not that fun.

Oprah: Where were you when the Oscar nominations were read?

Charlize: In this house, asleep. I didn't turn on the telly.

Oprah: You really didn't? Okay, you were at least thinking about it?

Charlize: No. I'd completely forgotten about it the day before.

Oprah: Even though everybody was buzzing about you?

Charlize: Yes. The phone rang at 5 A.M., and my boyfriend, Stuart, turned to me and said, "Who is calling at 5 in the morning?" It was my publicist. Then I was like, "Oh my God, this is insane!" Then I ran away.

Oprah: Did you?

Charlize: I did. It was a lot—the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild, National Board of Review, one right after the other.

Oprah: Suddenly, you're the It Girl.

Charlize: I wanted to escape. So I packed a backpack and went to Brazil, to this little fishermen's village. When I came back to L.A. three days before the Academy Awards, I was rested and excited. Everybody had been saying, "You have to do this press and that." I said, "I've done the film. I don't want to force it down anybody's throat. Let it speak for itself. If it happens, it happens. And if it doesn't, it'll still be fine." After a while, it's like, "People are dying in Africa. We can talk about something else." But during that season, there's a lot of pressure. Then people start saying things like, "You know you've got it in the bag." I don't want to live my life thinking that I've got anything in the bag.

Oprah: And then there's the gown pressure.

Charlize: Definitely!

Oprah: I have to tell you, I gasped when I saw you come out across the stage.

Charlize: You're kidding.

Oprah: The dress, your presence—it was a moment of supreme destiny for you.

Charlize: Oh my God, Oprah. Thank you!

Oprah: I didn't know much about you, but I knew the moment was huge. There aren't many things that make me gasp.

Charlize: I think a lot of that was because I was really having a great time.

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