Charlize Theron: We didn't want the politics to overshadow 'Bombshell'
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Charlize Theron says there was worry while she was filming "Bombshell" that politics could overshadow the message in the movie.

"There was an interesting feeling, I think, for all of us with the fact that the real story, the real narrative was that Megyn, at that time, was part of the debates and was going through what was a very well-known debate session with [President] Trump," Theron, who stars as former Fox News host Megyn Kelly in the drama, said Wednesday at a Washington screening of the film.


"The strange thing was that the story itself kind of dictated to us that that had to be in the movie," Theron told CNN's Dana BashDana BashGOP lawmaker to Trump: Drop election argument 'for the sake of our Nation' GOP congresswoman-elect: Republican women have also been breaking glass ceilings Ossoff warns McConnell would cause paralysis in federal government if GOP holds Senate MORE in a Q&A at the Motion Picture Association, alongside director Jay Roach and writer Charles Randolph.

"And yet at the same time, I think we were all somewhat concerned that we didn't want the politics to overshadow what the movie really was about. But the politics really fed into the story," Theron, 44, said.

The movie, poised to be released next month, is a dramatization of the sexual harassment scandal that led to the 2016 ouster of late Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes.

"We were really concerned because we didn't want this to be a political film. This was a film about sexual harassment," Theron told the crowd filled with D.C. VIPs and insiders. "This was a film about women not feeling safe in their workspace and not having that equal right to be able to go to work, to be ambitious, to have every other quality that men have in their workspace and not to not have that be turned as a negative against them."

"What are we really aiming to tell? Even if we don't agree with Fox News or where your politics land, this is a nonpartisan issue. This shouldn't be something that should be politicized," Theron said.

Playing the ex-"Kelly File" host, Theron said, was a challenge: "It took a little bit of time to put my own personal feelings and opinions about her aside."

"Which are?" Bash responded to laughs from the audience.

"I mean, listen, [Kelly] has made comments that have rubbed me the wrong way and some of them have actually upset me. We have different views on a lot of stuff," Theron said.

Kelly jumped from Fox News to NBC in 2017, before she parted ways with the network following a controversy over her comments during a Halloween costume panel in which she said that wearing blackface was "OK" when she was growing up "as long as you dressed up as a character."

While noting she wasn't "excusing her behavior," Theron said of Kelly, "The great thing about when you take on a job as an actor is that the only way to kind of do this job in any capacity whatsoever is you have to be able to remove yourself, your own personal feelings from a lot of that stuff and come at it from an empathetic place."

Amid a more serious broader discussion about sexual harassment, there were some lighter moments.

Asked by Bash about the choice to make one of the characters, Kayla — a Fox News associate producer played by Margot Robbie — a fictional composite rather than based on a single, real person, writer Randolph said, "Because there is a sort of woman who gets caught in a quid pro quo sexual relationship who doesn't feel comfortable."

"Nobody here in Washington knows what quid pro quo is," Bash quipped back of the term, which has been a key part of the impeachment inquiry into Trump. The president has insisted that there was "no quid pro quo" in his interaction with Ukraine.

"A trigger word!" Theron exclaimed to chuckles.

Also eyed at the "Bombshell" screening: a young fan of Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense: Defense bill among Congress's year-end scramble | Iranian scientist's assassination adds hurdles to Biden's plan on nuclear deal | Navy scrapping USS Bonhomme Richard after fire Democratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Social media responds to Harris making history: 'I feel like our ancestors are rejoicing' MORE snapping a photo with the New York Democrat (with the tween's mom telling the lawmaker, "I think it's fair to say my daughter recognized you before Charlize Theron,") former Obama White House communications director Jen Psaki, Tammy Haddad, former Obama aide Stephanie Cutter, Reps. Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelFrankel defeats Loomer in Florida House race Live updates: Democrats seek to extend House advantage Shakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' MORE (D-Fla.) and Annie Kuster (D-N.H.), and CBS "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan.