Alanna Ubach on Her Scene-Stealing ‘Bombshell’ Role

The world of “Bombshell” is populated with familiar faces playing familiar faces; in addition to Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly and Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, you’ll catch actors including Richard Kind playing Rudy Giuliani and John Lithgow as Fox News head Roger Ailes.

But for maximum impact with minimum screen time, it’s Alanna Ubach who stands out as Fox News star Jeanine Pirro. She is an Ailes defender and in one particularly tense scene, Pirro confronts Kelly over her refusal to publicly support their embattled boss.

Ubach is a familiar face from such shows as “Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce” and a familiar voice for her role as Mama Imelda in “Coco.” She’ll next be seen in the Fox series “Filthy Rich” opposite Kim Cattrall.

Ubach: “I was called into just another audition, I had absolutely no idea who Jeanine Pirro was back then. I had exactly
24 hours to bring her to life. I had known Jay Roach from ‘Meet the Fockers,’ and I thought, ‘If he’s gonna be there, I’m just gonna go all out.’ I had the false eyelashes, the pantyhose, push-up bra, the chicken cutlets and the hooker heels on. I went to town.

“The fortunate thing about playing a famous person in 2019 is you just have to Google them and watch videos. I watched her footage for hours. Then I finally came across this TMZ footage of her being bothered at the airport and I really saw who she was behind closed doors. If I just played celebrity Jeanine Pirro, the one who’s in interviews, then it was going to come across very ‘SNL.’ This was Charles Randolph writing the script and we’re going to want
to see what she’s like behind closed doors. So thank God for that footage.

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“There was also a Lebanese publication — she’s Lebanese — where she was just an open book. They asked her a lot of questions about her youth and she talked about how insecure she was going to an all-Catholic school in upstate New York. She was the only Lebanese girl at this school. I think that had a lot to do with her finally becoming who she became. She had a lot of drive.

“My main scene is with Charlize Theron where Jeanine confronts Megyn to support Roger. I like to call Charlize the Charlie Parker of acting. She was amazing and made up to look so much like Megyn Kelly. It was a scene at the end of the day and I thought to myself, ‘I better nail this because I know she’s dying to go home and take all that makeup off.’ She brings it every single time. It’s amazing to watch and be a part of.

“My job is to use substitution. I’m extremely liberal, so for me to say these lines and defend someone I myself would never defend in a million years, is to substitute. So the child-immigration horror is something that I used. I had to defend something that I wholeheartedly believed in. It really did occupy my brain and soul the entire time. It was the only thing I
could stand behind and believe it’s wrong, it should be illegal, it’s terrifying. So I thought of children being separated at
a border and imagined that Megyn Kelly was for it.”

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