Charlize Theron rules 'Mad Max: Fury Road' gala with Sean Penn at Cannes

Sean Penn keeps the spotlight on Charlize Theron as they hit the 'Mad Max: Fury Road' red carpet in Cannes

Charlize Theron dressed up and Sean Penn dressed down for the red carpet ahead of the gala "Mad Max: Fury Road" screening at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday. 

Theron donned a bright yellow strapless Dior gown with a flowing train, diamond Chopard earrings and an elegant chignon to promote the post-apocalyptic action film, making a stark contrast with her character, who has a gritty buzz cut and prosthetic arm and kicks the plot into gear by embarking on her plan to steal away a warlord's five wives.

Penn, meanwhile, kept it casual -- forget "black tie," this was no tie -- in black pants, black jacket and a black shirt. Which is exactly what he wore to the May 7 world premiere of the movie in Los Angeles.

Same shoes, even. Men!

The star of "The Gunman" didn't help his date with her snag-prone train,  USA Today reported, but did point all media attention away from himself and toward her.

Conveniently for Theron, or at least for her stylist, the lengthy "Fury Road" post-production period allowed her plenty of time to grow out her hair before red carpets were rolled out for the movie. Filming actually wrapped back in 2012, way before she and Penn even started dating, having taken her on location to Australia, Namibia and her native South Africa.

"I think the time of post-production gave us all a moment to breathe, so I had full appreciation of when I watched it in the theater," Theron told HitFix about viewing the finished flick. "I was really blown away by the time and the effort people put towards this film.

"I knew it was a long time," she noted, "because my hair was in a ponytail."

"Mad Max: Fury Road," which stars Tom Hardy in the role originated by Mel Gibson, hits U.S. theaters Friday.

Follow Christie D'Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ and Google+. Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter @LATcelebs.

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