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Charlize Theron

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Charlize Theron is looking inside herself for inspiration for her latest role. 

In the 39-year-old beauty's forthcoming film Dark Places, the Academy Award winner plays Libby Day, a woman who witnessed the brutal murder of her mother and sisters when she was just eight years old.

As fans of the Monster star know, Theron was 15 when her mother shot and killed her father after he apparently fired his own gun into Charlize's bedroom after a night of drinking and making death threats, and in a new interview with French television network TF1, the mother of one acknowledged her personal connection to her character.

Charlize Theron, Dark Places

Mars Distribution

"I did experience a very traumatic experience, an event, in my life. And somehow it's formed me," she said. 

"My character goes through this event when she's 8 years old, and it really is examining what trauma does to a child, especially when she's expected to speak about it," the actress continued. "And that's definitely something I can relate to, that's definitely something I've experienced in my life."

She added: "As far as events go, they're very similar. There's a murder [in the film], while my situation was a very unfortunate incident with self-defense." 

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Charlize Theron, Sean Penn, Cesar Awards

AP Photo/Thibault Camus

Theron's mother, Gerda, was not prosecuted for the murder nor did she ever faced charges; in 2004, the actress opened up about the tragedy in an interview with ABC News and said that the incident doesn't define her. "I know that if my daughter was in the same situation, I would do the same thing," she said, later adding, "It's a part of me, but it doesn't rule my life." 

The Snow White star, who is currently dating Sean Penn, even convinced her boyfriend to get rid of his gun collection last year. The Milk star auctioned off his nearly 65 guns in a sculpture created by artist Jeff Koons at his annual Haiti benefit, where Penn told the audience that "a strong woman who happens to be from South Africa" changed his mind about owning the deadly weapons. 

Meanwhile, Dark Places, which is based on the novel by Gillian Flynn and also stars Chloe Grace Moretz and Christina Hendricks, is slated to hit theaters sometime this year. 

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