Why Charlize Theron Says Playing Megyn Kelly Was ‘Harder’ Than Portraying a Serial Killer

After a recent screening of the upcoming film, Bombshell, Charlize Theron gave some candid comments about portraying the controversial Fox News figure, Megyn Kelly.

A viewing of the film, which also stars Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie, was held in Brooklyn on Sunday. While Theron is getting praise for her transformation and the role, many still don’t know how to feel about the film.

Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron | Tibrina Hobson/FilmMagic

Charlize Theron gets an uncanny makeover as Megyn Kelly

The performances in Bombshell, particularly those of Theron and Robbie, are getting a lot of praise in early reactions. Many still remain stunned of how Theron was able to transform into Kelly like that.

“BOMBSHELL is the most important film of the year. A quentesential [sic] must-see for the Me Too era. Charlize Theron is unrecognizable as Megyn Kelly & delivers her boldest performance to date,” wrote We Live Entertainment founder Scott Menzel on Twitter.

Gregory Ellwood of The Playlist tweeted, “Charlize Theron is uncanny as Megyn Kelly in Bombshell. It’s uncanny. I’m still awestruck.”

Despite the praise, some people still aren’t sure about Bombshell‘s content.

“Why do I feel like the Megyn Kelly we see in BOMBSHELL isn’t going to say any racist sh*t?” tweeted The A.V. Club’s film editor, A.A. Dowd.

Television writer Ira Madison III said, “I’ll wait and see with #BOMBSHELL obviously, but I’m also reticent to watch a movie that will treat the women involved as heroines for toppling Ailes. They all still willing worked at a white supremacist mongering network and had no problem with that aspect of their jobs.”

Charlize Theron admits her feelings about portraying Megyn Kelly

At a Q&A session on Sunday following a screening of the film in New York City, Theron said she was “sh*t scared.”

“[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. I was just really scared, too, because I honestly knew her so superficially. She’s conflicting,” said Theron, according to Vulture.

Theron also said that this was a harder role than when she portrayed serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster. “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,” she said.

“Sexual harassment is not a partisan issue,” added director Jay Roach, also noting the divisiveness of Kelly and the film’s other figures.

And at the end of the day, Theron said that she could play the role because it wasn’t a biopic.  “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,” she added.

Here’s what Megyn Kelly has said about Charlize Theron and ‘Bombshell’

Kelly talked to The Daily Mail back in September about Theron playing her in the film. She told the publication, “She seems smart, seems like a good mom, so I could do worse.”

No word if Kelly actually plans to see Bombshell. The movie will be in theaters on December 20, 2019.