Bombshell Director Says Charlize Theron Insisted on Keeping the Movie as Creepy as Possible
In a new interview, Bombshell director Jay Roach says that there were scenes in the film that were almost too cringy and creepy to keep in the movie. Roach says that Charlize Theron fought to keep each and every part in, however, and it seems that having her opinion really did matter. The film is racking up critical acclaim and award nominations for its stars. Roach told Vulture that in one scene involving Margot Robbie and John Lithgow, who plays Roger Ailes, the situation was so demeaning and dehumanizing that he thought it was just too much.
"It had to be dark enough that we could put men who normally would not have these experiences inside Kayla's heart and head, so they could experience it with her. But it could never tip into exploitativeness," screenwriter Charles Randolph said. Robbie plays Kayla Pospisil, an amalgam of the women who came forward with accusations against Ailes. In the scene, she's with Lithgow and he asks her to turn around for him so that he can evaluate her appearance. All the while, his breathing gets heavier and heavier.
Together with Roach, Randolph says that he considered editing some of it out, but Theron's conviction won out. She wanted it to be as real as possible and for the audience to feel what the accusers felt.
"This is one of those situations where you have to let Charlize and other female producers lead the way," Randolph continued. "Jay and I had a couple of times where we were like, 'Maybe we can tone this down. Maybe we can take this shot out, take that breathing down.' And the women on the team universally said, 'Do not touch a frame. You know that this is very important to this experience that the audience goes through it being as gut-wrenching as it was.'"
Roach adds that the team studied the accusers' testimonies to try to make things as close as possible to what reportedly happened.
"We would hear these stories about 'the spin,'" he said. "We'd heard how fatherly he could be, jokey, and a good coach. He would have good advice, and women would come into his office and feel very comfortable at first. Then it would drift to this darker place."