Just how happy were the holidays for Charlize Theron and Sean Penn? Word is, the longtime friends enjoyed an extended end-of-the-year getaway to the actor's home in Hawaii, where they were snapped chatting together on the beach, strolling in the sand (her) and catching some tasty waves (him).
One spy described them as looking "very close and comfortable together."
On Wednesday, Theron, 38, and Penn, 53, reportedly arrived back in Los Angeles on the same plane, but they exited the airport separately to foil waiting paparazzi. They were photographed the next morning making staggered exits from the actress' Hollywood Hills home: He drove out in a Nissan pickup truck, and she followed right behind in a Lexus SUV.
So far, their reps aren't commenting on the romance rumblings, but this isn't the first time Charlize and Sean have been linked. A dinner date in 2010 sent the rumor mill into overdrive, but the pair, who each took home an Oscar in 2004, were quick to pull the "just friends" card.
Both stars also attended Seth MacFarlane's holiday party on Dec. 13. Earlier this year, Charlize pooh-poohed reports claiming that she was involved with the "Family Guy" overlord.
Theron has kept her private life mostly under wraps since breaking off her decade-long relationship with Stuart Townsend in 2010. She adopted son Jackson two years later.
Penn, meanwhile, has been playing the field since splitting from wife Robin Wright in 2009, and his scorecard includes a brief 2011 entanglement with Scarlett Johansson. He recently raised eyebrows by hanging out with newly single ex-wife Madonna in Haiti, where he's devoted his efforts to the J/P Haitian Relief Organization.
Click on for more shots of Charlize and Sean, together and apart …