Charlize Theron can do it all: fight villains as an assassin, get political as a presidential nominee, and lead an apocalyptic escape as a short-haired warrior. It turns out the hardest role she’s ever had wasn’t playing a real-life serial killer in Monster, though, but rather portraying FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly in Bombshell.
The upcoming Jay Roach-directed feature follows the women who brought down Roger Ailes, the Fox News chief accused of sexual harassment and assault. It’s got an all-star cast: Theron is Kelly, John Lithgow plays Ailes, Nicole Kidman portrays Gretchen Carlson, Margot Robbie is a fictionalized Kayla Pospisil, and Kate McKinnon is a fellow Fox News team member. The trailer will grip you, even though you already know how this movie ends.
In a new interview with CNN, Theron talked about the difficulties of the role, namely how hard it was to portray Kelly given her high-profile status and Theron’s preconceived notions of what she’s actually like. As pointed out by Vulture, she even went on the record to say that playing Kelly was more challenging than playing the infamous serial killer Aileen Wuornos.
(Read: Charlize Theron’s Top 10 Performances)
“[Megyn Kelly is] incredibly well-known, and I’ve never played anybody that’s on that level,” Theron said. “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… This was harder [than Monster]. 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 went on to explain that her initial concerns about starring in Bombshell subsided upon realizing the film captures a year at Fox News at large instead of focusing on Kelly in particular. “Once I got past that, that year in her life was incredibly interesting, and felt to me like a story worth telling,” she concluded.
Bombshell opens in theaters on December 20th. Watch the trailer below.