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With awards season in high gear, so are 2019’s biopics. Along with Renée Zellweger’s Judy Garland, Tom Hanks’ Mr. Rogers, or Taron Egerton’s Elton John, Charlize Theron also went through an extensive transformation to play former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly in Jay Roach’s Bombshell.
Vivian Baker, Charlize Theron’s makeup artist on the bio drama, has revealed that the process took three hours each day on set. Baker used eight pieces of prosthetics created by special makeup effects and visual artist Kazuhiro Tsuji. He previously designed the transformation for Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill for Darkest Hour and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper. Darkest Hour won the Oscar in 2018 for Best Makeup, along with Oldman’s first golden trophy for Best Actor.
The prosthetics for Charlize Theron’s Megyn Kelly were then covered with beauty makeup. As Vivian Baker told Us Magazine, it’s a technical challenge to blend the prosthetics into Theron’s features. Baker also said ”lashes were a big deal” for creating a believable Kelly. The artists had to use fake eyelashes to appear to change the shape of her eye to look like the anchor. Contact lenses and lots of glue also held together the look.
After the day was over, Vivian Baker said it took about 20 minutes for three artists to tear down the prosthetics on Charlize Theron. But, it turned out amazing! It even fooled Nicole Kidman once. In Theron’s words:
She [Kidman] walked by me at one point and I thought she was mad at me. I thought, 'Oh god! What did I do? Did I mess something up in her trailer? Did I not say hi nicely?' She just came up to me and she was like 'Charlize?' and then I said, 'Yes are you mad at me?' She said, 'No, I just didn't know that was you!’
Along with Charlize Theron’s Megyn Kelly, John Lithgow also has prosthetics for his portrayal of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who resigned in 2016 from the position after a number of women filed sexual allegations against him. The movie follows Kelly, Nicole Kidman’s Gretchen Carlson, and Margot Robbie’s fictional Kayla Pospisil during the Fox News scandal.
Earlier this year, Charlize Theron opened up about being harassed by a Hollywood producer when she was 18 or 19 joining in for an audition. Bombshell will face the issues of the #MeToo movement head on. Yet, Megyn Kelly recently said she was not involved in the making of the film and would’ve made edits to Bombshell if given the chance. Theron recently responded by saying she’d probably feel the same way if a movie was being made about her life.
Charlize Theron is no stranger to transformations for a performance. She shaved her head for Mad Max: Fury Road and became unrecognizable for her Oscar-winning portrayal of prostitute-turned-serial killer Aileen Wuornos for the 2003 film Monster.
Check out Bombshell in theaters now as one of the many films closing out 2019.