Charlize Theron famously gained 30 pounds and sported fake teeth to portray real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos in “Monster,” but she said playing former Fox News broadcaster Megyn Kelly in the upcoming “Bombshell” was decidedly more challenging.
While both performances called upon Theron’s legendary ability to transform into a role, the actor revealed that she had more trouble inhabiting the skin of the controversial anchor.
“This was harder,” Theron said about her role in the Jay Roach-directed film on Sunday, according to People.
“She’s incredibly well known,” the Oscar winner 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.”
Theron went onto admit that she was “shit-scared” of taking on the role, given how “conflicting” Kelly is ― the anchor was fired from NBC for making racist comments last year ― and even questioned if she was the right fit.
The actor, who is producing the film under her Denver and Delilah banner, wondered if there was “somebody out there who can do this better” while developing the project early on. At Roach’s urging, she decided to sign on and star as Kelly.
“Bombshell,” which hits theaters in December, is expected to launch Theron into the Oscar race alongside her co-stars Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie.
The film explores the sexual harassment allegations against then-Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes from the perspective of the network’s female then-employees, including Kelly, Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and a composite character named Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie).
While the real-life Kelly was never consulted during the production of the film and hasn’t decided whether she’ll catch it in theaters, she seemed relatively pleased that Theron was playing her on-screen.
“I’m her fan,” Kelly said of the actor in a September interview. “She seems smart, seems like a good mom, so I could do worse.”