×

Charlize Theron and Kate McKinnon Premiere ‘Bombshell’ in NYC

As “Bombshell” premiered in New York on Monday night, director Jay Roach reflected on the film’s place in the #MeToo era, especially in the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s recent headline-making interview with the New York Post (made in the midst of his much-publicized trial for sexual assault), where the disgraced producer said, “I made more movies directed by women and about women than any other filmmaker.”

“One of the things I found working on this story is there is a pattern,” Roach told Variety on the red carpet at the special screening at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall. “With very powerful men who become addicted to power who then feel entitled to it and will do anything to maintain it, and will do anything to demand loyalty from individuals even if it involves bullying, sexual coercion — when you see someone that delusional compartmentalizing it and then somehow self-justifying it, you realize it takes an awful lot of misplaced psychic energy to rearrange reality to justify that sort of horrific abuse.”

In “Bombshell,” Charlize Theron stars as former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, one of the journalists responsible for the downfall of former Fox News head Roger Ailes amid allegations of sexual harassment. For her part, Theron had no interest in talking about Weinstein, saying, “You shouldn’t give him any more time… You should just stop writing about it.”

Popular on Variety

But that doesn’t mean the team behind “Bombshell” wants people to stop talking about harassment in general; in fact, their goal is exactly the opposite. “I hope that this story is to remind people that it’s not a partisan issue per se,” Roach explained. “It’s something that happened in my business. It happens in the news business. It happens in hotels, and schools, and fast food restaurants. It’s something that’s a plague.”

Roach and Theron are joined by an all-star cast — including Kate McKinnon, Jennifer Morrison and John Lithgow — that is riding a wave of awards-season accolades. The film has been recognized by a number of national critics’ organizations, while Theron and Margot Robbie have each picked up Golden Globe nominations for their performances and — with Nicole Kidman (who plays Gretchen Carlson) — were also recognized by the Screen Actors Guild both individually and also for outstanding cast in a motion picture.

It’s mind-blowing to get any kind of nomination, but that one felt really special just because this is such an ensemble,” Theron said, reacting to the film’s SAG Awards nominations. “And every single actor that came on here just gave everything. As a producer, it just felt great to finally just have us all be included in the same thing.”

Of getting McKinnon to join the cast, Theron said, “We got incredibly lucky that she said yes. The tone of this film was really important. We never wanted it to become didactic. We wanted there to be an entertainment aspect to it… so that there was devastation and fury and all of these things that you should feel about a subject like this, but at the same time, you really invest in watching these characters. You enjoy watching them.”

Attendees at the packed screening included famed television journalists Ann Curry, Deirdre Bolton and Deborah Norville, before gathering at the swanky after-party at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Dascha Polanco, Alysia Reiner, Patricia Clarkson, Patrick Wilson, Sofia Coppola, Susanna Hoffs, Gretchen Mol and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke. The assembled group admired the sweeping views of Central Park in the stunning observatory while toasting the success of the film, as well as the empowering movement that seems to be blossoming as Hollywood enters a new era.

More Film

  • Call of the Wild

    Box Office: 'Call of the Wild' Fetches $1 Million on Thursday Night

    Harrison Ford’s “The Call of the Wild” opened with $1 million on Thursday night. STX’s supernatural horror sequel “Brahms: The Boy II” earned $375,000 at 1,800 screens from Thursday previews. The preview number for Disney-20th Century’s “The Call of the Wild” is in the same vicinity as “The Upside,” which took in $1.1 million from [...]

  • Infinity Hill

    Viacom International Studios, Infinity Hill Sign Exclusive First Look Deal

    Viacom International Studios (VIS) has signed an exclusive first look development deal with Infinity Hill. The companies will co-develop and co-produce a slate of Spanish-language features, filmed globally and utilizing international talent on both sides of the camera. Infinity Hill is the new label from longtime Telefonica and Viacom exec Axel Kuschevatzky, one of the [...]

  • There Is No Evil

    German Regional Film Funder Boosts Budget, Targets Young Filmmakers

    Since taking the helm at German regional funder Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein (FFHSH) last year, Helge Albers has revamped the organization, worked to increase its budget by €3 million ($3.3 million) and introduced new initiatives aimed at young filmmakers. Albers, a former film producer who previously served as head of the German Producers Assn. and a [...]

  • EFM European Film Market Berlinale Placeholder

    European Film Market Tackles Big Issues Under New Leadership

    Growing demand for a united European response to the ever encroaching dominance of streaming platforms will be high on the agenda at this year’s European Film Market in Berlin. The first EFM to take place under the leadership of new Berlin Film Festival heads Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian is also introducing a new initiatives, [...]

  • Dan Scanlon (L) and US producer

    Berlin: Director Dan Scanlon Discusses Pixar’s 'Onward,' and His Michigan Inspiration

    Pixar’s “Onward” saw its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, and the film’s director, Dan Scanlon, and producer, Kori Rae, talked to the press at the festival about the film, which follows brother elves on a magical quest to reconnect with their late father. Tom Holland and Chris Pratt voice the brothers who [...]

  • Johnny Depp arrives for the 'Minamata'

    Johnny Depp on 'Power of the Small' at Launch of 'Minamata' at Berlin Film Festival

    Johnny Depp arrived at the Berlin Film Festival Friday to support the film “Minamata,” in which he plays celebrated war photographer W. Eugene Smith. In the film, based on real events, Smith is pitted against a powerful corporation responsible for poisoning with mercury the people of Minamata in Japan in 1971. Also in Berlin were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content