Liberal Theron Questions ‘Instant’ Suspicion Over Her Playing Megyn Kelly

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Appearing on The View, liberal actress Charlize Theron changed her tone about playing former Fox News star Megyn Kelly in the new sexual harassment film Bombshell. The actress, who previously said it was “harder” playing the conservative journalist than a serial killer, now can't imagine why there is “instant” suspicion against her taking the role. 

Co-host Joy Behar offered this softball, gently wondering, “I heard you had some reservations about doing the part. Why is that?” “Reservations” is one way to put it. Talking to Variety in October, she called Kelly “conflicting.” The entertainment site explained

Moderator Alisyn Camerota pressed Theron, noting that she had portrayed serial killer Aileen Wuornos in 2003’s Monster.

“This was harder,” said Theron.

Perhaps not wanting to alienate half the country, Theron on Tuesday changed directions, minimizing, “I mean, initially I just didn't know if I was the right person.” Now, she’s a fan: “I think I focused so much on Megyn Kelly that I forgot that she was really a part of a lot of women during a year and a half period at Fox who ultimately did something extraordinary.” 

 

 

Later, token View conservative Meghan McCain tried to question Theron on playing a non-liberal and whether she gained any insights: 

I was interested in this movie for all the obvious reasons because I used to work at Fox and I was there during that time. There's an innate distrust, between I think between most conservatives, but particularly conservative women in Hollywood. What was it like being in the mind set and playing a character of a conservative woman and did you have any new reactions or impressions of what it's like?

 

 

Theron dodged, wondering why someone would question her ability to play the role: 

It's a really interesting question because I'm obviously not a conservative. It's interesting when you take a story on like this that there's this instant kind of like, well, “Would a liberal know about doing this? And there’s going to be an agenda behind it.” 

(Maybe the whole serial killer comment?) The actress decided she did have things in common with Kelly: 

I didn't think I had anything in common with and I learned that I had so much in common with her. Because she is somebody who's incredibly ambitious. She wants to be really good at her job. She's worked incredibly hard to get where she was, and when this thing happened she was at the top, the pinnacle of her career. 

A partial transcript is below: 

The View
12/17/19
11:39 AM ET

JOY BEHAR: I heard you had some reservations about doing the part. Why is that? 

CHARLIZE THERON: I mean, initially I just didn't know if I was the right person. I didn't know if I could get physically as close to what she looks like. And I felt like there's something really enjoyable about watching these films and being able to forget that you're watching actors telling the story. And so, in that sense we just focused on it as producers first and whether we wanted to produce it. 

And, yeah, I mean listen, I think I focused so much on Megyn Kelly that I forgot that she was really a part of a lot of women during a year and a half period at Fox who ultimately did something extraordinary and that it wasn't the Megyn Kelly biopic and that took a little weight off my —  pressure off my body. 

...
    

SUNNY HOSTIN: Bombshell" is the first major Hollywood movie to emerge from the me too movement, and you say it's an origin movie of sorts. What do you mean by that? 

THERON: I'm just trying to make it sound like a marvel film. That way people will go. I want to try and get the same audience. It strangely is. This story that happened, this extraordinary story that happened at Fox happened before Harvey Weinstein, happened before Me Too, Time's Up, before NBC, before all of these stories that we now know collectively. 

...

MEGHAN MCCAIN: I was interested in this movie for all the obvious reasons because I used to work at Fox and I was there during that time. There's an innate distrust, between I think between most conservatives, but particularly conservative women in Hollywood. What was it like being in the mind set and playing a character of a conservative woman and did you have any new reactions or impressions of what it's like? I used to worship Megyn Kelly early on in her career. I don't anymore. I used to want to be her. I just want to know playing her and going through all this, do you have any impressions of what it's like to be, you know, a conservative firebrand like she was. 

THERON: It's a really interesting question because I'm obviously not a conservative. It's interesting when you take a story on like this that there's this instant kind of like, well, “Would a liberal know about doing this?” And there’s going to be an agenda behind it. And the first thing that became so clear to me is when we were talking about sexual harassment it's a non-partisan issue. Like it wasn't important for me to be —  we weren't telling a political story so I didn't have to be political accurate with everything that she's —  obviously she had said things —  we wanted to be as accurate about what the news stories were in that period and obviously she had said some very— 

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Provocative. 

THERON:  — provocative things and we felt like it was important to just be truthful about that and to not hit it over the head. But we had screens that would show some of those news stories and stuff but outside of knowing her as a conservative woman, what I was shocked to kind of realize through my research was that she's a woman that I didn't think I had anything in common with and I learned that I had so much in common with her. Because she is somebody who's incredibly ambitious. She wants to be really good at her job. She's worked incredibly hard to get where she was, and when this thing happened she was at the top, the pinnacle of her career. 

She was negotiating one of the biggest contracts at Fox and stepping forward to her, I think, meant two things, that she was weak, that she didn't want to be defined by this thing. She had worked to hard to be this incredible journalist, and that she might lose everything and that's something that women who are victims of sexual harassment face every single day. The risk of what they're going to lose is so great and this idea that when people say to me like “Why do you believe women so easily?” Women have nothing to gain. Look back, women are the ones who lose everything. Most of the women at fox never worked in broadcasting again. They were ostracized. 

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