Charlize Theron's mother influenced her to pursue acting.

The 'Atomic Blonde' actress is one of the biggest actresses in Hollywood, but has admitted she never planned on becoming an actress at all, as her primary passion was ballet.

When asked if she always wanted to be an actress, she said: ''No, I was a ballerina from the time I was four years old and I thought that's what I'd always do. I left South Africa at 16 and studied abroad and supported myself by modelling. I ended up in New York and soon realised that my career was over and my knees had said goodbye to me and I'd never thought of a plan B.''

And the 43-year-old star says it was her mother Gerda that told her to try her hand at acting, after noticing how her daughter was struggling to make a name for herself in the ballet world.

Asked who came up with the acting idea, Charlize said: ''My mum. She flew out to see me in December, it was freezing, and I was living in a basement with no windows eating Häagen-Dazs. I said to her 'I don't know what to do.' She said, 'You were never the best ballerina. Technically there were a lot of other girls way better than you, but when you were the dying swan, you were the f***ing dying swan - that's your strong point.' And it sounds so ridiculous, but she then said, 'You know, I hear they make those movies in LA, you should go. You don't want to be 80 and on your deathbed and wonder what could have been.' And boy, was she right. So I owe her a lot.''

The 'Long Shot' star then headed to LA and after almost being left homeless when she found herself struggling to get work, she was discovered in a bank.

Speaking to Notebook magazine, she said: ''What happened was I had absolutely no money and the bank wouldn't cash this cheque from New York. And it was just out of pure desperation that I wouldn't leave this teller and I started crying and said, 'I'm homeless'. And this guy stepped in and he was very kind and cashed it through his bank account and then gave me the money. And then he said 'Are you an actor? Because I'm a manager.' And I was like, 'This is great, I'm discovered!' It actually turned out he was a legit manager and that's where my career started.''