LOS ANGELES: In 2016, Fox News was turned upside down when allegations of sexual harassment against CEO Roger Ailes were made public. The build-up, backlash and fallout are chronicled in new movie, “Bombshell.”
The film stars a power trio of A-listers — Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman portray former Fox anchors Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, with Margot Robbie playing Kayla, a fictional composite of multiple women at the news network. With director Jay Roach at the helm, “Bombshell” is a slick dramatization of events in the style of writer Charles Randolph’s previous film “The Big Short.”
Theron and Robbie have already received Golden Globe nominations for their roles and Arab News sat down with them them and co-star John Lithgow, who plays Ailes, about making the film.
“Ailes is a fascinating character,” Lithgow said, “the most valuable asset I had in the role was Connie Britton (as Ailes’ wife, Beth). The look on her face and the look of shame on his face at her finding out about it was extremely powerful.”
The decision to take on a role in the movie wasn’t easy for Theron, however.
“It wasn’t a very easy decision for me. Jay (Roach) gets credit for giving me the last push. He really helped me get my head around understanding Megyn because that was complicated for me. While we were shooting it became more complicated because she was let go from NBC for racially insensitive comments and that devastated me,” she told Arab News.
The film led the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations Wednesday, boosting its Oscar hopes. Lionsgate's star-studded #MeToo drama secured acting nods for its lead Theron, as well as supporting actresses Kidman and Robbie, and an overall cast nomination.
And Robbie’s nomination is well deserved, especially considering one particularly uncomfortable scene depicting sexual harassment.
“I can’t think of a single scene that has really gotten inside the room where some version of sexual harassment on this level takes place… if you just saw a transcript, you wouldn’t know anything wrong had happened. But as she says in the film, ‘something just happened and I don’t know what it was.’ That’s what harassment is all about,” Robbie said.