Jay Roach, director of hit comedies (the Austin Powers films, Meet the Parents) and Emmy-winning political docudramas (Recount and Game Change), enjoy spending months pondering the positives and negatives of a project. But when Charlize Theron sent him Charles Randolph's script for "Bombshell," he was surprised.
"I said yes after 5 seconds," says Roach. “It was a very good decision. But impulsive.
It's not hard to see what Roach found attractive: The film, focused on Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron), Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and the fall of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes (John Lithgow), suffers sexual harassment, misogyny in the film. workplace and the overthrow of a media boss who felt the rules did not apply to him.
Recently, Roach could be found at Le Pain Quotidien in Brentwood, talking about the complexities of Roger Ailes and why he likes to make news films. "I am perpetually anxious about what is happening now," he says. “(My next movie) would be about the complainant or (former Ukrainian ambassador) Marie Yovanovitch, if I could figure out how to do it. I think it's my coping mechanism. "
Megyn Kelly, Rudy Giuliani, legal expert Jeanine Pirro. When it comes to transmission, what is most important? The resemblance to a real life figure? Or an actor setting the right vibe?
And always looks how it is about appearance. And the look is what is most talked about. But I think it's mainly about performance. It's about a person's ability to simply jump into someone else's skin, letting a character take control. This kind of high level action the actors are in. I call it "snatch the inverted body." And being able to do it in a fun, convincing and suspenseful way? This is just a great performance.
Talk about prosthetics. How much is too much?
It is time consuming to put on prosthetic makeup every day. But Charlize said, "Because I really want to work on the accent, I want to look in the mirror and hear that accent coming out of a face that isn't mine." So it was, like, "Bingo." We found this amazing makeup guy – Kazu Hiro. He went through a process of trying different levels of departure. This is an interesting question: how much correspondence is too much? Sometimes you can enter a corresponding zone. So it's just weird and weird.
Despite the dark subject, "Bombshell" laughs. Do they act as a tranquilizer?
We knew this was a very serious matter. There was tremendous pressure not to misunderstand him. But there was also pressure not to be artificially serious. Artificial is if no one is kidding. People play with dark things.
Enter "SNL", Kate McKinnon.
I have never worked with Kate before, but I had an instinct that she would be awesome in that part. What I didn't know was that Margot Robbie (who plays an amalgam of several of Ailes's true accusers) would be a good improviser. It was as if they were playing tennis at the highest level. Kate used to direct the subject. But Margot was there with her.
Talk about your attraction to right-wing politics characters.
I don't know why I chose to make so many movies about people on the right. But I come from a conservative family, people who watch Fox News and are fans. My family members said, "Now you don't mess with our Sarah," when I started ("Game Change" about John McCain's 2008 presidential election campaign). I watch Fox News all the time. I disagree with 90%, but I watch because I sincerely want to understand what the world is like from this point of view and personally to discuss with my father.
Did this offer a portal in Roger Ailes's mind?
I understood that America is a fragile and precious thing that is always under attack from outside influences. My father worked at Sandia Laboratories, which are affiliated with Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos, where they build bombs. He had secret authorization. He was always worried in a greater sense, a kind of patriotic paranoia. But he also had personal paranoia about being spied on. He always reminded me: "You know, the Russians never invented anything in the nuclear weapons category. They only know what they know by stealing from us.
What did you point out about how Ailes operated when she was alone with women?
There are the scary, seemingly minor details that Roger always asks women to get up and turn him around. The women warned each other. "Watch out for the spin." The next thing a woman would know is that she is over the limit. Then he put the hook. He said, "Now we have a dark secret together. I won't tell if you won't tell." Then it gets worse from there.
"Bombshell" had any interesting reactions from men who saw it?
One of the things that struck me is how many men came to us and said, "When I read about it, I thought," What's the matter? Then he said offensive and offensive things to her, made her get up and show her legs. So what? And then they see the scene (when Ailes harasses a young Fox employee), and then it's like, "Oh, my God. I had no idea."