By Cindy Pearlman | Big Picture News Inc.

LOS ANGELES — “I wanted to be an anti-hero. I wanted to be a rogue warrior,” says Charlize Theron.

The South African actress got her wish in the reboot of “Mad Max,” where Theron plays a bald, take-no-prisoners character named Imperator Furiosa.

“She’s the most female role I’ve ever played, but she can also kick ass,” Theron said of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” opening Friday and co-starring Tom Hardy.

How did Theron getting into fighting shape? It doesn’t hurt that Oscar winner, Dior spokesmodel and former dancer was already into killer fighting shape.

Theron, who turns 40 in August, credits a healthy way of life as her secret weapon.

“I do have to watch what I eat,” she insists.”I work out and I try to make smart life choices like not smoking and doing yoga.”

Her diet plan revolves around proteins and veggies including getting plenty of greens. She nixes fried foods, bread and rice.

Then there are her daily workouts, which are ballet-based and work out every muscle group. Theron uses light weights of five pounds or under to avoid bulking up while also fitting in a daily session of cardio to stay long and lean.

“I love to exercise. Taking a hike three or four times a week isn’t a chore for me,” she says. “I’m not counting the minutes until I can sit down again. I embrace it. It’s a way to get out there and relax.”