If one thing makes you laugh in Bombshell, it’s Richard Kind as Rudy Giuliani. Seeing the former New York City mayor in over his head with a disgraced Roger Ailes provides a schadenfreude-induced chuckle, sure — but also an unlikely salve to today’s endless headlines of Ukraine, foreign interference, and impeachment. “Every audience in big cities, the minute he’s on the screen, they just start laughing,” screenwriter Charles Randolph told Vulture at the movie’s New York premiere Monday night. “And then we had no idea that Giuliani would be such a part of our lives, so everyone [has] a cathartic moment.”
Randolph added that in addition to looking like Giuliani (with the assistance of makeup and prosthetics from Oscar-winner Kazu Hiro), Kind captured the infamous “nuttiness” that we see from President Donald Trump’s personal attorney every day. “What’s so great about Richard’s performance is that [Rudy] has such an energy and he has a certain nuttiness — that Richard goes even beyond that was just fantastic and inherently funny.”
Crediting director Jay Roach with the casting decision, producer and star Charlize Theron explained that such choices were made in part to find levity in the real-world trauma shown onscreen. “It was a great idea, Theron said. “[Roach] has such a clear understanding that with great trauma comes great humor, and the absurdity of all of the things happening to these women and to women in general when it comes to sexual harassment is something that you can’t just hit this one note with. It was important for us to cast it in a way where we could balance that.”
“You have to find somebody who’s very good at capturing the essence of someone and enjoys doing that and isn’t afraid of it, because I don’t know if there’s anything worse than someone who jumps in with that in a kind of half-assed way and doesn’t pull it off,” Roach added. “Richard didn’t look all that much like Rudy, but I imagined him with a bald cap — I always try to Photoshop a version of him in my mind before I do it. Then I was able to pull it off.”
And we’re lucky he did. Turns out no one can do a “this is even too crazy for me” side-eye quite like Kind.