Entertainment Movies Charlize Theron transformation overshadows Nicole Kidman in Bombshell
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Charlize Theron transformation overshadows Nicole Kidman in Bombshell

Nicole Kidman Gretchen Carlson
Nicole Kidman (left) as former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson (the real person, right) in Bombshell. Photo: Lionsgate/Getty
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Nicole Kidman gets the only line in the trailer for upcoming movie Bombshell – “Hot in here” – but is still overshadowed by co-star Charlize Theron.

Theron’s silent turn also drowns out the Margot Robbie effect.

The reason? She’s an eerie doppelganger for former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who she plays in Bombshell.

The movie is the inside story of the women who took on Fox News empire boss Roger Ailes over sexual harassment claims, and arguably sparked the ‘Me Too’ movement.

Earlier this year the Ailes downfall was the inspiration for Stan’s The Loudest Voice with Russell Crowe and Naomi Watts.

In Bombshell, Kidman plays journalist Gretchen Carlson, who sued Ailes for harassment in 2016.

The suit was later settled for $29.5 million.

Ailes resigned in disgrace and died in May 2017.

Kelly also alleged she was sexually harassed by Ailes, writing about the advances in her 2016 book Settle for More, for which HarperCollins reportedly paid nearly $15 million.

Robbie is fictional Fox News associate producer Kayla Pospisil.

Not seen in the Bombshell trailer is John Lithgow (The Crown) as Ailes.

The three stars are shown in a lift as they all head to the second floor – the executive suite at Fox News Channel’s 1211 Ave of the Americas in New York.

Everyone is calm, but the tension is palpable.

Theron’s look had social media users raving.

“Charlize as Meghan Kelly feels almost like a deep fake,” said one user on Twitter.

“Can we talk about the make-up and prosthetics perfection that is Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly in Bombshell?” said another.

“I feel unnerved,” admitted a third. And: “Charlize looks more like Megyn Kelly than Megyn Kelly does.”

Transforming herself physically on screen is a Theron specialty.

She wore prosthetic teeth and gained 13 kilograms to play serial killer Aileen Wuornos in her Oscar-winning role in 2003’s Monster. 

In 2015 she shaved her head for Mad Max: Fury Road, telling Entertainment Tonight that was her decision.

The real story behind Bombshell

Kelly didn’t speak publicly about Ailes’ alleged sexual misconduct, but in her book she wrote he promised career advances in exchange for sexual favours.

“I would be called into Roger’s office, he would shut the door, and over the next hour or two, he would engage in a kind of cat-and-mouse game with me,” she wrote.

“Veering between obviously inappropriate sexually charged comments (eg about the ‘very sexy bras’ I must have and how he’d like to see me in them) and legitimate professional advice.”

Megyn Kelly
Megyn Kelly at a May 20 opening night in New York. Photo: Getty

Kelly said she reported Ailes’ behaviour to a superviser but only spoke directly to Fox’s legal team after Carlson’s July 2016 lawsuit.

Weeks before that was filed, Carlson was let go as a Fox News anchor after 11 years. She alleged she lost her job after rejecting Ailes’ advances.

Carlson had taped recordings of some of their meetings where Ailes had told her, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago,” according to Gabriel Sherman’s New York Magazine exposé.

The CEO resigned in 2016 but slammed Carlson’s allegations as “false”.

Where are Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson now?

Carlson, the 1989 Miss America, chaired the pageant before resigning in June and has become an advocate for sexual misconduct. She was named one of Time’s Most Influential People in 2017.

Because of her confidential settlement with Fox, she hasn’t been able to talk to Kidman for Bombshell or Watts for The Loudest Voice (she did mingle with Watts at the show’s premiere.)

Naomi Watts Gretchen Carlson
Naomi Watts and Gretchen Carlson at June 24’s New York premiere of The Loudest Voice. Photo: Getty

Having her career story told on the small and big screens “is a testament to completely reinventing yourself in many different ways over time,” Carlson told Refinery 29.

“I thought I was going to be sitting at home crying my eyes out every day because I’d been fired from a career that I’d worked so incredibly hard to attain.”

Kelly left Fox News in 2017 and joined NBC’s Today, but her morning talk show career went down in flames in October when she made offensive comments about blackface being acceptable for Halloween.

She was sacked by the end of the week although the network had to pay out her $41 million three-year contract.

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