Charlize Theron, exclusive interview: the transformation for “Bombshell”

Bombshell with Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbue arrives on April 17 on Amazon Prime Video

Charlize Theron it is not new to sensational physical transformations. In 2004 he won an Oscar for playing the serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the film Monster by Patty Jenkins, a role that required prosthetic make-up, fake teeth and bold gait. Then she played the part of a miner who reported sexual harassment in North Country, Josey’s story, a post-apocalyptic warrior in Mad Max: Fury Road, a spy in Blonde atomic and a mother of three in debt for sleep in Tully. But Theron’s latest chameleon metamorphosis is perhaps also the most convincing: in Bombshell, directed by Jay Roach, the actress plays Fox News host Megyn Kelly. Terrific appearance with short bob, fake nose is a wardrobe of tight clothes, becomes an improbable heroine in a disruptive true story about exploitation in the workplace.

The film is about the 2016 scandal that forced Fox News CEO to resign, Roger Ailes. Nicole Kidman plays Gretchen Carlson, the top conductor who sued Ailes for harassment while Margot Robbie is the employee Kayla, an invented character who brings together various accusers. Roach weaves together their accounts of the abuses she suffered and follows Kelly as she decides whether to speak out against her boss too. Theron is rigorous in her portrayal of the controversial TV personality and brings a tough, angular woman to the screen. “I’m not a feminist,” she says in one scene. “I’m a lawyer”.

Vogue meets the actress to talk about her extraordinary performance, the #MeToo era and how Time’s Up is changing Hollywood.

What were the difficulties in interpreting a prominent public figure like Megyn Kelly?
I have already played real life characters but none that were so well known, not currently, at least. It may be nice or unpleasant, but it’s on TV, it’s in our life and you know what it looks like and how it speaks even if you don’t watch Fox News. As a person he is very particular, the voice, the bearing, the very fact of being you, tat the beginning this seemed like a lot of stuffit certainly wouldn’t have been easy. “

Charlize Theron in Bombshell

© Hilary B. Gayle

How did he make his ways and his voice?
I watched and read everything I could, but I think that sometimes just imitating someone’s physicality gives the impression of making a comic sketch. I had to understand why he speaks as he speaks, and this depends on the emotional nature of the person. The more I knew her through the material collected, the more I understood it, the more it all made sense. The voice worried us particularly. I work with this incredible woman, Carla Meyer [la dialect coach], and for the first six weeks I thought we would never even get close to Megyn Kelly. There is something in his tone, sometimes it seems almost offensive. But the more you practice the easier it gets. In the end it became natural ».

Physical transformation is also incredible. Did it take long make-up sessions?
«We worked with Kazuhiro [Tsuji, truccatore prostetico]. We only had 43 days to shoot so no one could stick to prosthetic makeup for more than two and a half hours. My transformation was concentrated on the eyes: I had some false eyelids ranging from the lash line to the eyebrow and inside the side of the eye. We also did a small chin, some correction for the jaw, a tiny tip on the nose and then Kazuhiro modeled two plastic elements to be inserted in the nose to widen the nostrils. I got so used to keeping them that at the end of the film I forgot I had them. “

Charlize Theron in Bombshell

© Hilary B. Gayle

Kelly is also a very divisive character. Did you have any reservations about when you accepted the part?
He said things, in the past, that bothered me, so I had to think about it for a while. He helped me talk to Jay Roach about it [il regista] because it made me think about that the film was not the biography of Megyn Kelly. She was part of a bigger story, a story worth telling. I knew she would be a great character but on condition that we showed her what she was like in reality. Unfortunately, we still live in an era when many are not comfortable with severe, rough women. Jay was not afraid of this. SI hoped that if we were able to tell this story so that it seemed truthful and without trying to emotionally involve the public by manipulating it, then I could accept very well».

The Bombshell poster

Did lending Kelly’s face somehow change her mind about her?
The conclusion I came to is that we are strangely similar. We are both ambitious, very determined, and we want to succeed in what we do. They are qualities acclaimed in men but not always appreciated in women. It is something about her that I understood well and I identified myself. She wanted to be a Fox rock star and did so despite having to face far more than her male counterparts».

Even his inner struggle [se pronunciarsi contro Roger Ailes] it was interesting. I always thought that I would not be able to understand such a thing because there is a part of me as a woman who wants to believe that women support women. But the complexity of his situation, the fact that she was renegotiating the contract, that she liked Roger, all this complicated things. The more we hear stories like these, the more we realize that these bad guys they are not the quintessence of evil like the bad guys when we were little. They are paternal, they give excellent advice, they invest and do all the things you want from a mentor. But they also do unacceptable things. I think Kelly’s difficulties stemmed from this. “

Charlize Theron in Bombshell

© Hilary B. Gayle

Bombshell talks about the #MeToo era but precedes the Weinstein scandal of 2017. How does it enter history?
“I think people forget that Time’s Up and #MeToo weren’t there yet when this happened. Which raises the stakes because when Gretchen [Carlson] hdecided to come forward and went to a lawyer, he had no support. There were no movements to defend the victims and she was completely alone. It has unveiled history and has become history. No woman wants to be recognized for this, especially an ambitious woman who wants to be known for her job. All the women involved had to face this. They have been incredibly brave. Now it’s still difficult to report, but at least I’m not alone. “

**Time’s Up has been operating for two years. How do you think it changed Hollywood? **
«When we make films we now spend much more time with Human Resources. People talk about these problems with more empathy. There is awareness, be more careful. But this idea that now we can no longer joke, that there is no more fun, it’s a bullshit emeritus. You can have a great time without humiliating others. I know people are afraid of exaggerating in the opposite direction, but when I hear someone say “It’s dangerous!” I really think it has something to hide. Even if we are going through a period of adaptation in which we are all too careful, what does it matter, considering that women have had to deal with this stuff for years and years? “

Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie in Bombshell

© Hilary B. Gayle

Are there other things in Hollywood that need to change? He spoke of the need for gender-neutral award ceremonies, for example.
“Someone asked me on a red carpet and I said” Sure! ” It wasn’t in my plans but I think there is a need for a broader discussion on genres and why these boxes exist. We lived in a world where we wanted to believe that there were only two boxes, but the range of genres is much more interesting and colorful than that ».

He co-produced Bombshell with his production company Denver and Delilah. Upcoming projects?
We are in development with Atomic Blonde 2. If everything goes according to plan, we will shoot in a year. We also shot a film last summer that will be released next year: uan action movie for Netflix entitled The Old Guard. We have a lot of meat on the fire for television too now. We are very busy which is fantastic, but it is still a small production company so the things we take are very important for us ».

The three protagonists of Bombshell

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