"She’s a conflicted human being and so am I," Charlize Theron said about Megyn Kelly

By Helen Murphy
May 03, 2019 03:22 PM

Charlize Theron has a new perspective on Megyn Kelly after playing the controversial TV news personality in an upcoming movie about Roger Ailes.

The 43-year-old actress stopped by Thursday’s episode of Watch What Happens Live with her Long Shot costar Seth Rogen, where a caller asked what she thought the “biggest misconception” about Kelly was.

Theron plays the anchor, 48, in the untitled film, which centers on the women working at Fox News and how they took on the former CEO of the news organization and the culture of sexual harassment he fostered. Nicole Kidman plays anchor Gretchen Carlson, who sued Ailes for sexual harassment, while Margot Robbie is a producer working at the network.

“The truth is that I only had to research that one year before Roger Ailes was let go at Fox,” Theron revealed. “So it wasn’t really like I was telling her life story or that I was really getting into really the nuts and bolts of who she was, it was more just the psychology of what was happening at that place, at that time with a lot of women.”

“Here’s what I will say,” the actress continued. “I’m very different from her, but I think that for women, and for all of us, it’s good for all of us to be able to look at each other, knowing our differences and knowing that we all make mistakes.”

Theron added: “She’s a conflicted human being and so am I. So I have no place to judge her or say anything other than I wish her well and I think this is a good story to tell, it’s an important story to tell.”

In March, Theron voiced a similar sentiment, saying that she has “empathy” for the former Fox News anchor.

“I didn’t know how complicated her situation was,” Theron told Variety at the SXSW premiere of Long Shot. “I think for a lot of people, they didn’t understand why she just didn’t speak up. She was in a complicated place, and as a human being, I have empathy for that. And I don’t think a lot of people truly understood that.”

In her 2016 memoir Settle for More, Kelly detailed the sexual harassment she said she endured while working for Ailes. He was accused of similar behavior by numerous women at Fox News, which he vehemently denied until his death in May 2017.

Kelly claimed in her book that after months of harassment, the media tycoon “crossed a new line” in January 2006 when he grabbed her and repeatedly tried to kiss her. Upon shoving him away, Kelly alleged that Ailes asked her the “ominous question” of “When is your contract up?” before trying to kiss her for a third time.

Charlize Theron; Megyn Kelly
Michael Buckner/Getty; Ron Antonelli/NY Daily News via Getty

The anchor said she never succumbed to any of his advances, which she claimed stopped after six months once she reported Ailes’ alleged behavior to her supervisor. She left Fox News in 2017 and signed a deal with NBC News that officially ended earlier this year over her controversial blackface comments.

Ailes resigned from Fox News in July 2016 and received $40 million in an exit agreement. He died just three days after his 77th birthday last year after he accidentally fell and hit his head at home.

Lionsgate will open the untitled Ailes movie on Dec. 20.