Charlize Theron overcame her fear of horses while shooting 'The Old Guard'.

The 44-year-old actress found making the action film ''therapeutic'' because she had to get into the saddle and tackle her worries that things could easily go ''terribly wrong'' by facing her phobia head on.

She told OK! magazine: ''I always had this fear when I was on them that something could go terribly wrong at any instant. So it was like a metaphor for my life in a weird way, this movie. It was therapeutic for me.''

The movie also required Charlize to undergo extensive weapons training, and though the preparations were tough, she enjoyed the challenge.

She said: ''I trained five days a week for about four months before shooting.

''I did a mixture of strength conditioning and combat training. A lot of it involved an axe-like weapon I use in the film I've never done any weapons training quite like this.

''It was really tough - but really worth it.''

The Oscar-winning star appears opposite KiKi Lane in the movie and thinks it's ''embarrassing'' there are still so few movies with multiple strong female leads.

She said: ''Unfortunately, we're still living and working in a place where that's sometimes very hard to find... It's embarrassing that in my almost 30 years of doing this, I haven't had that many opportunities to do that.''