Charlize Theron has made a name for herself in Hollywood by playing fiercely independent women — most recently, the rogue warrior Imperator Furiosa in this summer's hit Mad Max: Fury Road. In real life, she's just as headstrong, and that desire to be in total control of her own destiny may have precipitated her recent breakup from former fiancé Sean Penn.
"It was Charlize's decision to call off the engagement," an insider tells Closer, "She really loved Sean and thought he was the man she was finally going to marry, but she missed her independence."
Charlize at Paris Fashion Week in 2014. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
It seemed Charlize had met her match in Sean when they began dating a year-and-a-half ago: They're both Oscar-winning actors who have endured turbulent lives, only to find peace with each other and her 3-year-old-son, Jackson.
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The famously fiery Sean had been tamed, child-proofing his home to make sure Jackson would be safe there. Charlize called herself "a very lucky girl" for landing Sean, a friend for 20 years before they partnered up both on-screen and off (he directed her in the African-set romance The Last Face, due for release later this year).
Sean in California in 2014. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
"He's hot," she boasted of her beau. But insiders say things started cooling off recently. One reason? Sean is used to calling the shots. "Sean was just too controlling," said the insider, "that was Charlize's biggest problem with him."
For more on Charlize and Sean, pick up the new issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now.
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