CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Before Charlize Theron could pick up her Woman of the Year award, she had to prove she was worthy.
That meant dancing to disco music, striking modeling poses and wooing someone wearing an elephant suit and a pink sparkly bra — all to delight of the cast members of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals at Harvard University, the nation's oldest undergraduate drama troupe.
Theron's efforts landed her a gold-colored pudding pot.
"I hope you all know I'm a high school dropout. I just thought I'd be clean with you guys," Theron said Thursday.
Actor Christopher Walken is to receive the Hasty Pudding Man of the Year Award on Feb. 15, prior to the opening night performance of "Fable Attraction."
The awards are given each year to performers who have made a "lasting and impressive contribution" to the world of entertainment.
"She's done so many different projects, she has such a range, she's someone we can look up to," said Talisa Friedman, a spokeswoman for Hasty Pudding.
Theron, 32, led a parade through Harvard Square as part of the festivities that precede the annual roast. She said after the parade that she plans to put her award to practical use.
"I'm going to make a stew, then I'm going to eat it," she said.
She also talked about one of her latest projects, "Battle in Seattle," a movie written and directed by her longtime boyfriend, Stuart Townsend.
"It's really impressive when you're dating somebody for eight years, then all of a sudden they do something that you never thought they could do, and then they do it really well. He's a really talented writer and director. I really loved working with him."
Theron won an Oscar for best actress for her performance as a serial killer in 2003's "Monster." She was nominated again for 2005's "North Country" and has appeared most recently in "In the Valley of Elah." She was also named Esquire magazine's "sexiest woman alive" in October 2007.