Charlize Theron suffered a meltdown when her dreams of becoming a prima ballerina were shattered - until her mother encouraged her to try acting.
The South African beauty trained as a ballet dancer in New York City but a knee injury at 19 left her devastated and ruined any chance she had of turning her passion into a career.
Now the star has heaped praise on her mother for helping her out of her slump - and launching her Hollywood career.
She tells OK! magazine, "I remember at night, at like two in the morning, with my mom in the City in a basement on, like, 21st Street, crying my eyes out and eating four pints of ice cream because I couldn’t dance anymore, and my mom saying ‘Well, why don’t you try acting?’ I mean... because of some crazy moment at 2am with Haagen-Dazs, I’m standing on a red carpet today."
The actress has gone on to star in a series of hit films and even scooped an Academy Award for her performance in 2003's Monster, but insists she doesn't plan too far into the future.
She adds, "I try to live every day like tomorrow might not come. Not that I succeed at that every day, but I try to think that way and not too far ahead."