Charlize Theron recalled having some fun for Ireland at the expense of the French in the run-up to the World Cup in South Africa four years ago.  

The South African-born Oscar winner and girlfriend of Sean Penn was one of those selected to call out the names of the teams in the World Cup draw, and during rehearsals she pulled a fast one that didn’t go down well with the French – she teasingly announced Ireland instead of France. 

The joke, of course, was in reference to France dumping Ireland out of the tournament thanks to an illegal handball goal scored by Thierry Henry. The ref never copped it, and poor Ireland was left for World Cup roadkill.

“That was only fair,” she told The Irish Times of her gag.  “But you should have seen [the French]. They were so panicked about it. They really, really thought I was going to do that on the day. I gave them all a heart attack.”

Theron would have been very familiar with Irish tears at that time. She was involved for many years with Irish actor/director Stuart Townsend, with whom she shared a home in California.  They split four years ago.

In the current issue of Esquire in the U.K., the mother of two-year-old adopted son Jackson stayed quiet on why she and Townsend went their separate ways.   

“It’s not the reason we split up,” she says of her desire to have a child.  “In his defense, it was not that he didn’t want to have children. It was just something that never worked out.”