Everything Charlize Theron Has Said About Playing Megyn Kelly in Bombshell

Everything Charlize Theron Has Said About Playing Megyn Kelly in Bombshell

Charlize Theron has not been shy about her thoughts on playing controversial news figure Megyn Kelly in Bombshell.

The movie — which stars Theron as Kelly, Nicole Kidman ⁠as Gretchen Carlson, and Margot Robbie as a fictional Fox News employee — tracks the fall of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes (John Lithgow), after Kelly and Carlson accuse him of sexual harassment.

Theron, 44, has had conflicted feelings about playing Kelly, 49, first saying back in March that she has “empathy” for the news anchor and what she went through.

“I didn’t know how complicated her situation was,” Theron told Variety at the SXSW premiere of her new movie Long Shot. “I think for a lot of people, they didn’t understand why she just didn’t speak up. She was in a complicated place, and as a human being, I have empathy for that. And I don’t think a lot of people truly understood that.”

RELATED: Charlize Theron Says She Has ‘No Place to Judge’ Megyn Kelly After Playing Her in Roger Ailes Movie

Charlize Theron and Megyn Kelly

But in an interview with The New York Times earlier this month, Theron admitted it was weird revealing to her friends she was set to play Kelly in the movie, which she also produced.

“It was definitely awkward,” Theron recalled of telling friends about her next role. “In a weird way, the judgment she gets from a lot of people, I felt on me a little bit. But up until four weeks into shooting, I was still grappling with who she was as a person, and it wasn’t until I really zeroed in on that year and a half of the story that I could actually defend her.”

RELATED: Charlize Theron Says Acting Megyn Kelly’s ‘Santa Is White’ Segment Was ‘Hard’ as Mom to Black Kids

Theron also talked about having to recreate some of Kelly’s most controversial comments in the interview, including the time Kelly emphatically pronounced Santa as “white.” Repeating the comment was hard for Theron, she told writer Kyle Buchanan.

“I would imagine that as the mother of two black children, you didn’t relish re-enacting her ‘Santa is white’ segment,” Buchanan said.

“Thank you!” Theron emphatically replied, according to the outlet. “Yeah, that was hard for me.”

Theron is mom to 7-year-old Jackson and 3-year-old August.

Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly

Back in May, Theron explained that she didn’t necessarily need to know everything about Kelly to play her, as the movie focused on a specific moment in time of her life.

“The truth is that I only had to research that one year before Roger Ailes was let go at Fox,” Theron revealed while appearing on Watch What Happens Live! with Andy Cohen. “So it wasn’t really like I was telling her life story or that I was really getting into really the nuts and bolts of who she was, it was more just the psychology of what was happening at that place, at that time with a lot of women.”

RELATED: Charlize Theron Says She Has ‘No Place to Judge’ Megyn Kelly After Playing Her in Roger Ailes Movie

“Here’s what I will say,” the actress continued. “I’m very different from her, but I think that for women, and for all of us, it’s good for all of us to be able to look at each other, knowing our differences and knowing that we all make mistakes.”

Theron added: “She’s a conflicted human being and so am I. So I have no place to judge her or say anything other than I wish her well and I think this is a good story to tell, it’s an important story to tell.”

WATCH: Upcoming Roger Ailes Movie Will Be ‘Searingly Uncomfortable,’ According to Star Elisabeth Röhm

Although it was only about a year of Kelly’s life, getting her right was harder than Theron’s Oscar-winning role as real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos in 2003’s Monster.

“This was harder,” Theron said while comparing the two experiences during a conversation following a screening of Bombshell in New York City.

“She’s incredibly well known,” she continued. “I’ve never played anybody on that level. I’ve played real people that nobody knows about so there was less pressure when I did those.”

In her 2016 memoir Settle for More, Kelly detailed the sexual harassment she said she endured while working for former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. He was accused of similar behavior by numerous women at Fox News, which he vehemently denied until his death in May 2017.

Bombshell is in theaters Friday.

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