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Charlize Theron Says Playing Megyn Kelly Was ‘Harder’ Than Her Monster Role

Charlize Theron Photo: NOAM GALAI/Getty Images

Charlize Theron has played supervillains and serial killers, but after a screening of Bombshell on Sunday night, Theron said playing former Fox anchor Megyn Kelly was harder than anything she’s done. In the film, which follows the sexual-harassment allegations that led to Roger Ailes’s exit from the network, Charlize Theron uses Technicolor sheath dresses, a deep voice, and specious politics to transform into Kelly. It’s a surprising, excellent performance, one that Theron was hesitant to take on. After a screening of the movie, Theron — along with her co-star John Lithgow, writer Charles Randolph, and director Jay Roach — discussed her decision to play Kelly with CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota. “[Megyn Kelly is] incredibly well-known, and I’ve never played anybody that’s on that level. I’ve played real people, but people that nobody knows about. There was less pressure when I did those,” Theron said. “I was just really scared, too, because I honestly knew her so superficially. She’s conflicting.”

“I’m interested in that process,” Camerota said. “I mean, you’ve played a serial killer.” Theron, not missing a beat, joked, “This was harder. You forget sometimes — all of us do this — we think we know people, we have our preconceived ideas of them. As an actor you have to have that ability to put all of that aside and do research, and to actually find out about somebody.” Theron said that Bombshell isn’t a biopic, or a movie only about Kelly. “I admit fully that there were some things that bothered me that I had to really work on through getting to know her through research. I could understand that what the story was was really just the year at Fox. We weren’t making a biopic. This wasn’t the Megyn Kelly story. Once I got past that, that year in her life was incredibly interesting, and felt to me like a story worth telling.”

Charlize Theron: Playing Megyn Kelly ‘Harder’ Than Monster