‘Bombshell’: Charlize Theron Needed This Crazy Number of Prosthetics To Look Like Megyn Kelly

Charlize Theron is gorgeous enough on her own, but in order to look like former Fox news anchor Megyn Kelly for Bombshell, the 44-year-old actress had to make a few adjustments in the make-up, hair and, even prosthetics, departments.

Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

How many prosthetics were used on Theron to get her to look like Kelly? Find out what it took for the Bombshell team to achieve the Kelly look.

What Megyn Kelly thought of having Charlize Theron play her

As intimidating as Theron reportedly found it to portray Kelly in Bombshell, it must have been, for Kelly, just as surprising to learn that this formidable actress would be cast to play her role.

The 49-year-old journalist said on Instagram last year, “My husband . . . and I recently took our three kids to [the movies]. As we walked into the theatre, our 6-year-old stopped at this poster promoting another movie hitting the big screen. The ad confused him because it appears to show a picture of me. . . Watching this picture was an incredibly emotional experience for me, and for those with whom I saw it.”

And this week, after Real Time host, Bill Maher, asked what she thought of the film, Kelly shared, “My takeaway on it is the movie was a force for good because it helped shine a light on how it’s done.” 

The prosthetist speaks on the process of prepping Charlize Theron

Bombshell‘s prosthetic makeup designer is Kazu Hiro (formerly known as Kazuhiro Tsuji), who earned an Oscar for his amazing work transforming Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill for 2017’s Darkest Hour.

Hiro spoke at length with The Los Angeles Times this week about the process involved in making Theron more Kelly-like.

“To tell this story well, we had to make Charlize look like Megyn Kelly so the audience could get absorbed in the story all the way. I remember sitting next to Charlize Theron in a meeting and thinking, ‘Wow, she has such a beautiful face. I don’t want to ruin it!’”

Hiro went on to say that 3-D printing was involved in the evolution of Theron’s features. It was an intricate process taking hours each day.

“After I took a life cast of Charlize and a 3-D scan of her face, I made a nose plug to enlarge her nostrils and a nose tip because Megyn’s nose is turned up a little bit. She also has heavier eyelids. The final design included eyelids, nose tip, nose plug, chin, and jaw. The overall makeup and hair time was about three hours each day.”

The actual number of prosthetics Theron required

In all, Theron needed eight prosthetics to achieve that Fox anchor look.

“It’s really hard to get [prosthetist Hiro] to do new stuff,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2019, “but I did a lot of begging and he came on and designed eight [prosthetic] pieces for me. Two of them basically covered my entire eyelids. It was very intricate work. Intricate work where you still need to be able to do what you need to do, like blink.”

Kazu Hiro was nominated for an Academy Award this month for his transformative work not only on Theron’s face, but also on her Bombshell co-stars Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, and John Lithgow.

He will find out soon enough next month if he will have a second Oscar statuette to take home.