So many major magazine covers are straight-up DOWNERS right now. I know we’re all walking the emotional razor’s edge these days, but seriously, you have Charlize Theron for a cover and you decide to make her look like a woman who — while waiting in the ER hallway to be wheeled up to X-ray — boredly made her hospital gown into a toga?!? Seriously, this woman started her career as a model. Surely she did not envision that one day, it would lead to a cover shoot called Pissed Off at a Slow Medical Facility. They didn’t even make it fashion! If you want her to be growing increasingly agitated about whether the doctors will look at her wrist today, okay, I GUESS, live your truth, but at least stick her in some weird-ass Loewe or a giant Giambattista Valli. Were I Charlize, I would frame it and hang it in a room in my house where I really don’t want people to a) linger, or b) go at all. They’ll take one look at it and be like, “Oh, God, sorry, she’s gonna be so mad at me if I take another 10 minutes to wash my hands.”

The story is fine. It mentions surprisingly little about The School for Good and Evil, which is the movie that this ostensibly promotes, although actually that can be nice, in the sense that the profile feels a bit less transactional that way. The lede, an anecdote about Michael Bolton, is my favorite part and I want to know so much more. I want Michael Bolton in here. Talk to me, Michael, tell me all about it. But in terms of things that gave me a chuckle, I’ll go with this:

Billboards aren’t what impresses Theron’s daughters—or what makes her feel fulfilled. “When my kids say, ‘Mom, nobody makes pasta better than you,’ nothing gets close to that,” she says. “I don’t ever need them to be like, ‘Oh, you’re in that movie.’ I am still carrying such a grudge that there’s a mom in our circle who makes French toast that my kid raves about. And she’s given me the recipe and I’ve tried it. And every time I make it, my kid is like, ‘No, Aunt Nicole’s is better.’ And I’m like, motherfucker. I am way more driven by that stuff.”

I am going through this right now. I found a no-mayo potato salad recipe that I really like, but because a friend’s mother made one the other way, Dylan will hug me and say, “One day can you please make me happy and make it like she does?” Sigh. At least I’ll always win with chocolate-chip cookies.

[Photos: Josh Olins]