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Charlize Theron opened up in a very candid interview with NPR about her past – including a harrowing account of how her mother shot and killed her father to save both of their lives.

“My father was so drunk that he shouldn’t have been able to walk when he came into the house with a gun,” the 44-year-old Bombshell actress recalled about the night her mother had to shoot her “sick” and “alcoholic” father out of self-defense in 1991.

“My mom and I were in my bedroom leaning against the door because he was trying to push through the door.

“So both of us were leaning against the door from the inside to have him not be able to push through. He took a step back and just shot through the door three times.

“None of the bullets ever hit us, which is just a miracle.

“But in self-defense, she ended the threat,” she said, adding that no charges were brought against her mother Gerda because it was an act of self-defense.

We applaud Charlize Theron for sharing this part of her life with the world. Especially as it has the potential to help anyone in a similar situation not feel so alone…

“This family violence, this kind of violence that happens within the family, is something that I share with a lot of people,” she continued.

“I’m not ashamed to talk about it, because I do think that the more we talk about these things, the more we realize we are not alone in any of it.

“I think, for me, it’s just always been that this story is about growing up with addicts and what that does to a person.”

When asked about her father, Charlize described him as a “very sick man”

“I only knew him one way, and that was as an alcoholic,” she said.

“It was a pretty hopeless situation. Our family was just kind of stuck in it. And the day-to-day unpredictability of living with an addict is the thing that you sit with and have kind of embedded in your body for the rest of your life, more than just this one event of what happened one night.”

Thank you for sharing, Charlize.

You can read the rest of Charlize’s interview – in which she also addresses sexual harassment, among other things, – here.