Oprah: You were so fully there.

Charlize: The last thing I wanted was that glazed-over look. I'd said, "The most important thing is that I want my mom there, and Stuart, and my longtime manager, who took me on when I was 19." Then I said, "You know what? Bottom line is that we're all dressed up. I'm going to have a great night." I had a blast.

Oprah: Well, I have to say, you radiated. As you walked across the stage, I said, "That is a movie star."

Charlize: I was very happy. A dear friend from Gucci made the dress. It was really easy—I had one fitting. I wore tiny little slipper shoes, just really comfortable.

Oprah: So you weren't wearing five-and-a-half-inch Manolos? I've seen people do that and then lose themselves. Part of them is still in the seat when they walk across the stage.

Charlize: On the day of the Oscars, around noon, I had a big fish fry-up—fried eggs, fried bacon, just ten of us. Opened a bottle of Champagne. Pigged out.

Oprah: You could pig out before putting on that dress?

Charlize: They don't feed you. I didn't want to sit there starved.

Oprah: That is so good.

Charlize: We were all in my bedroom sprawled on the bed. We played music and had fun. Then we got in the car, went to the awards, and had a great time.

Oprah: That's the best way to do it. On a more serious note, tell me why you started an anti-rape campaign in South Africa.

Charlize: When someone gave me the facts, they devastated me. I knew rape was a big problem in South Africa, but I had no idea how bad it was. One out of every three women there will be raped in her lifetime. Every 26 seconds, a woman is raped.

Oprah: I think the percentage may be even higher.

Charlize: I do, too. It's incredibly sad. I know how people think in South Africa. AIDS, rape, divorce, violence against women—nobody ever talks about it. You just sweep it under the rug. I want to do something to change that mentality. It has to change. What kills me is that people with HIV in South Africa can't live their lives honestly because they become outcasts. They get kicked out of their communities and have nowhere to go. Same with rape. I feel that if there was a conversation happening in South Africa where rape became a topic at dinner, then women wouldn't have to hide or feel that they caused it.

Oprah: I agree. You're so mature. At 30, do you feel like you've found yourself? I know why they call that series The Young and the Restless, because all through my 20s, I was anxious to get into life.

Charlize: I always felt there was something I was missing out on. That's gone now. Now that I'm 30, I can't wait for 40!


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