Hollywood has a nasty habit of pigeon-holing actors. If you want charismatic, delightfully haired action heroes you call Tom Cruise, everyman, easy charm? Mr Hanks. An Oscar nomination? Meryl Streep. That's just how the great circle of cinema works.
Attempting to add any kind of reductive label on Charlize Theron has so far been nigh impossible. Not content with showing the kind of range that makes categorisation redundant, the actress seems to have a provocative defiance about some of her professional decisions.
This is she who chose to pursue playing Aileen Wuornos, and then followed it up with an anime-inspired action film. Who seems - and rightly so - to dare anyone to limit her appeal to aesthetics by chasing wounded, morally murky and occasionally downright nasty characters. And who stunningly accepted George Miller's call to play the real hero of his Mad Max: Fury Road project. But then, of course she did.
This week the sequel to The Huntman - Winter's War - sees Theron return to cinemas as Ravenna, despite the fact that the first film made hardly any money and nobody liking it. A real triumph of will from whoever REALLY wanted to see it at studio level, but then Theron was the best thing about the original, so at least we get a chance to see more of that.
Whether it will break into her best or worst performances remains to be seen...