Gone Girl isn’t the only Gillian Flynn novel headed to the big screen. A film based on Flynn’s 2009 thriller Dark Places also promises to deliver some creepy surprises. Charlize Theron stars as Libby Day, the traumatized survivor of the brutal murder of her mom and sisters who teams up with a band of murder-obsessed amateur sleuths (self-dubbed the Kill Club) to uncover unsettling secrets about her family.
In her career, Theron has played a murderous prostitute and a narcissistic young-adult author, yet playing a woman as emotionally removed as Libby still posed a challenge. “I like complicated characters,” she says. “And there’s something about Libby — she doesn’t make it easy.”
And Theron didn’t make the role easy on herself. She spent much of a summertime shoot in Louisiana wearing a leather jacket. “Not the smartest!” she jokes. But Flynn, a former writer for EW, gives Theron total props for her transformation as Libby. “She’s mind-bogglingly beautiful in her natural state, and to watch her assume the posture of Libby was really spectacular,” says Flynn.
Flynn even had the opportunity to share a scene with Theron in a brief cameo. “In my cameo, she and I exchange a little glance,” says Flynn. “I’m pretty sure she gave me respect for my acting chops — the look you’ll see in the film is, ‘Wow, Flynn. You’re pretty awesome.'” She’s quick to add, “Not really!”