Actress Charlize Theron had no idea what fame was about before she was discovered - because the cult of celebrities doesn't exist in her native South Africa.

The Benoni-born blonde beauty, currently starring in The Italian Job, insists she had no childhood lust for fame, because magazines and newspapers focusing on the stars weren't a part of her youth.

She says, "I didn't even know what a celebrity was until I came to Los Angeles! There weren't any reading materials about celebrity in South Africa.

"I loved movies, but I had no idea Tom Cruise was a star. I thought he was just a guy who had a really cool job, and that mentality has always followed me."

And, the former ballet dancer insists she'd be more than happy to avoid stardom herself.

She adds, "I don't need that attention. I'm not craving it and I feel uncomfortable with it. I have a great time talking about my work and I have an amazing time being an actress, but I have no desire to be on magazine covers and to constantly put my face on television. I get sick of myself after a while."

23/09/2003 21:20