Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 September 2019

Is that Megyn Kelly? No, it's Charlize Theron – actress transforms into former Fox News anchor

Prosthetics, contouring, we don't know what exactly they've done, but the transformation is creepily convincing

Charlize Theron, left, has transformed into former Fox News host Megyn Kelly, right, for her new film 'The Bombshell'
Charlize Theron, left, has transformed into former Fox News host Megyn Kelly, right, for her new film 'The Bombshell'

Twitter didn't exist when Charlize Theron appeared in 2003 film Monster as Aileen Wuornos, but if it had, her on-screen transformation into the serial killer would have certainly trended.

Today, in a world in which Twitter does exist, social media is aflutter because the actress has shapeshifted again: this time into TV anchor Megyn Kelly.

The South African is taking on the role of Kelly for new film Bombshell, and the prosthetics on her nose and chin, as well as the make-up work, particularly around her eyes, mean the 44-year-old actress looks strikingly similar to the 48-year-old former Fox News anchor. Even her cheeks look completely unlike her own (we're not sure how that's possible).

This photo of Theron shows just how striking the transformation, above, is:

Charlize Theron at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Photo: Getty 
Charlize Theron at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Getty Images

In fact, Theron as Kelly means the actress actually looks more like her co-star in the film, Margot Robbie, than she does herself.

What is 'Bombshell' about?

The film's trailer, refreshingly and unusually, gives us only a glimpse at a tense moment in the film, simply setting the scene rather than telling us the movie's entire plot in 90 seconds:

The movie's short official plot says it's about about how a few women decided to take on the "toxic male culture Roger Ailes presided over at the Fox Network".

In the trailer, we see a tense Margot Robbie walk into an elevator, clearly about to go to a meeting she's nervous about. Then we see Charlize Theron's Kelly get in – you could cut the tension between these two with a knife (and you'd need a really fancy Japanese sushi knife for this job, something extra sharp).

We then get a few seconds of stolen glances and people pretending to look at their phones, all the while maintaining impeccable posture. At 40 seconds Nicole Kidman – potentially with a prosthetic chin – walks in. She's playing Gretchen Carlson.

Then, Margot Robbie's character walks out, as does Kidman's Carlson. They head, nervously into a meeting room while Megyn Kelly looks on, staying in the elevator.

The movie is about the Roger Ailes sexual harassment scandal, which ultimately led to the CEO of the TV network resigning in 2016, 20 years after he was hired by Rupert Murdoch to take on the role in 1996.

We know that Robbie plays a fictional news producer in the film, while Kidman's character, Gretchen Carlson, was the catalyst for change within the organisation of Fox News, and the first high profile woman to file a lawsuit against Ailes. She said her career was sabotaged by the connected executive when she refused his advances.

Carlson filed the lawsuit on July 6, 2016, and on July 21, 2016, Ailes resigned from Fox News, receiving a $40 million (Dh147m) exit package. He continued to advise Murdoch and 21st Century Fox, but he died in 2017.

Ailes had been a media adviser to Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H W Bush and Donald Trump.

Reports in 2016 suggested that Kelly had also told her employers that Ailes had sexually harassed her. This video in 2015 shows Kelly praising her former boss, saying he's been "nothing but good" to her:

Carlson settled with 21st Century Fox over her lawsuit for a reported $20 million (Dh73 million), and has a new show called Gretchen Carlson: Breaking the Silence in which she focuses on stories of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Bombshell also stars Alice Eve, Connie Britton, Kate McKinnon, Allison Janney, Nazanin Boniadi and John Lithgow (who plays Roger Ailes). It is directed by Jay Roach, who helmed 2015's Trumbo and 2012 Will Ferrell comedy The Campaign. The film is set for release in December this year.

Updated: August 22, 2019 12:38 PM

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