Charlize Theron has been doing the press circuit after a three-year hiatus, and she might be a little rusty as an interview. But we're not complaining --- her acting certainly hasn't suffered for the time off.

The Oscar-winning actress has been promoting her latest film, Young Adult, and gearing up for what could be a busy awards season. Theron is pretty close to a lock for a Best Actress Golden Globe nomination in the Musical or Comedy category, and though the Oscar competition is stiff, Theron's performance as stunted adolescent Mavis Gary is earning rave reviews across the board.

During an interview with Ann Curry on Today, Theron talked about her (surprising) early influences, and the evolution of roles for women over the last few decades.

There was something interesting about watching a woman in her mid-thirties...dealing with things that we all know, but dealing with them like a 16-year-old, she said of her character in Young Adult, which shattered conventions about the role of a leading lady.

I think the things that she does are despicable, Theron went on. But there was something about her that felt very human to me....This is a character that I think holds a mirror to the things that are maybe not so attractive about us.

The conversation then took a curious turn: Curry asked Theron if she intentionally sought out Bob Deniro-like characters.

Theron barely missed a beat, which makes us wonder if we're missing something.

I don't know exactly how it works...that's the career I wanted for myself. I grew up on 70's film...I looked at what Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman and DeNiro did, Charlize said. Those are the characters I just relished. It was very rare.

I think women in the 70's got to do that, too, she added before changing the subject.

I think we are slowly waking up to the idea of understanding that women are not just the two extremities...I think there's a massive grey zone when it comes to us and I think we're sometimes more complex...and layered than men are. And I think, slowly, film is coming around to show these women.

Okay. Moving on, Charlize appeared on the Ellen show a few days later, where she discussed navigating life as a single woman for the first time in her adult life.

I haven't been single since, like, 19. After making a joke about being sad and pitiful, Charlize insisted, It's actually been a nice experience for me...I'm really enjoying it. I think I'm a bit of a creature that is definitely comfortable in a relationship...but I'm really enjoying being on my own.

Ellen then suggested that it must be hard for men to approach Charlize, who responded, you can't date like normal people, because as soon as you're seen with someone, it becomes blown out of proportion in the media.

Then it's not casual dating anymore, Theron said. You can't suss the guy out.

When Ellen asked if Charlize had been on any dates recently, she become a bit tongue-twisted.

Maybe a tiny date, Theron said after some prompting from Ellen, who asked her what a tiny date was.

Theron said it was coffee, but later explained that the coffee date needed to happen at someone's home, because of the threat of paparazzi.

So you're going to his house or he's coming to your house for coffee? That's not a tiny date, Ellen challenged.

In my world, that's a tiny date, Theron said.

Theron dated actor Stuart Townsend for nearly a decade - the relationship ended in 2010. Prior to that, she dated Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind.

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