'Bombshell': The real-life personalities involved in the Roger Ailes scandal at Fox News and the actors that will portray them
'Bombshell', the upcoming film starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie in lead roles, will also see a host of other real-life personalities portrayed
'Bombshell', the upcoming movie based on the Fox News scandal which saw female staff members of the corporation accuse the then-president Roger Ailes of sexual harassment, will include portrayals of many real-life individuals. This includes the main players Ailes, Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson among others.
So, here's a look at the individuals and the actors portraying these people in the film.
Megyn Kelly was a former defense attorney who was a news anchor at Fox News between 2004 and 2017. She was also a talk show host as well as a correspondent at NBC News in 2017 and 2018.
When reports of sexual harassment by Ailes surfaced in 2016, Kelly had also confirmed she was subject to harassment by Ailes to the investigators hired by 21st Century Fox. Charlize Theron will be playing the role of Kelly in the film and audiences who have seen the trailer say Theron is a dead ringer for the character she is playing.
Gretchen Carlson was the first person to file a lawsuit against Ailes for sexual harassment. She worked for Fox since early 2005 as co-host of the morning show 'Fox & Friends' along with Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade.
Carlson's contract with Fox came to end on June 23, 2016. On July 6 she filed the lawsuit and her complaint read, "Ailes has unlawfully retaliated against Carlson and sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances and complained about severe and pervasive sexual harassment." Carlson's role will be played by Nicole Kidman in the film who was also featured in the trailer.
Roger Ailes, the former president of Fox News who was forced to step down from his position in July 2016, will be portrayed by actor John Lithgow. Following allegations by multiple women, Ailes' defense team denied all allegations.
Ailes had also served as the media consultant for Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. Ailes died May 18, 2017, due to a subdural hematoma aggravated by his pre-existing condition hemophilia.
Rupert Murdoch, the then-founder of News Corp and now chairman, who brought Ailes on board the company to start Fox News will be portrayed by Malcolm McDowell. According to a report in the LA Times, Murdoch, in an interview in 2017 after Ailes' resignation, said, "There was a problem with our chief executive [Roger Ailes] over the years, isolated incidents. As soon as we investigated, he was out of the place in hours … well, three or four days. And there has been nothing else since then."
Ainsley Earhardt was Carlson's co-host on 'Fox & Friends' and began to work with Fox News in 2007. She also defended Ailes after the lawsuit and called him a family man. Earhardt will be played by actor Alice Eve in the film.
Susan Estrich was Ailes' defense lawyer. She is a Harvard-trained attorney who shocked everyone when she decided to defend Ailes as she was until then known as a veteran feminist. A New York Times report titled "The Curious Case of Susan Estrich" observed, "Ms. Estrich, the author of the 1988 book 'Real Rape: How the Legal System Victimizes Women Who Say No,' is now one of the last voices vigorously insisting that Mr. Ailes did nothing wrong." Estrich will be played by Oscar-winner Allison Janney.
Irena Briganti joined Fox News in 2013 as the executive vice president of corporate communications for Fox News and Fox Business Network. According to a report in Newsweek, Kelly claimed, "To this day, she (Briganti) pushes negative articles on certain Ailes accusers." Briganti's role will be portrayed by Brooke Smith.
Douglas Brunt is the former president and CEO of the cybersecurity firm Authentium and a novelist who married Kelly on March 1, 2008. Brunt will be played by Mark Duplass in the film.
A former judge, prosecutor and politician, Jeanine Pirro is currently the host of Fox News' 'Justice with Judge Jeanine'. Among the many who defended Ailes, Pirro said Carlson's lawsuit was absurd.
She said, "When I read what was clearly absurdities, in this complaint, I said to myself, ‘How sad that you’ve got this woman who is making these complaints when there are real victims out there." Her role will be portrayed by actor Alanna Ubach.
The host of 'The Story with Martha MacCallum', MacCallum joined the Fox network in 2014. Her role will be portrayed by Elisabeth Röhm.
Sean Hannity is the host of 'The Sean Hannity Show' and also works on 'Hannity,' on Fox News. He is a conservative political commentator who joined Fox News in 2007. The role of Hannity will be portrayed by Spencer Garrett.
Abby Hunstman was one of the co-hosts of 'Fox & Friends' and joined Fox News in 2015 as a general assignment reporter. Her role in the film will be portrayed by Ashley Greene.