Charles Randolph, writer of the new Fox News sexual-harassment drama Bombshell, had a special insight into the conservatives he writes about in the film: He was once such a devoted Christian that he enlisted in a campaign to sneak Bibles into Communist-bloc countries.
“When I graduated from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas in ’86 I then went of on a mission field, where I basically worked for a group that produces Bibles to be smuggled into Eastern Europe. We were more the printing operation and less the cool Bible smugglers.”
Modesty aside, subversive text remains his job today. Randolph specializes in scripts like The Big Short and Bombshell that subvert stereotypes and generalizations and get us to think about complex issues in a fresh new way. You can listen to him in the new MovieMaker Interviews podcast on:
And right here.
Bombshell illustrates how Fox News women including Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) and Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) orchestrated a pre-Harvey Weinstein rebellion against their super-predator boss, Roger Ailes (John Lithgow). Margot Robbie plays a composite character, Kayla, a young Christian whose background parallels Randolph’s.
Also Read: Margot Robbie on Bombshell
Randolph also spoke with us about how the research for Bombshell including everything from talking to Fox News moles to scanning foot-festish websites (for Fox News interior shots, not for feet.) And he explains why he’ll switch from conservative media to to liberal media with one of his next projects, a film about Hulk Hogan and Gawker.
Here are some highlights of the podcast, with timestamps:
1:30: Margot Robbie interview begins.
1:56: “In this instance, I signed on to the message of the film before falling in love with the character. And then I went back and started thinking, ‘Okay, who is Kayla, how do I play her? I don’t understand her at all. And I didn’t have a lot to go off as far as personal experience. … But. That was just a research thing.”
5:20: On accents: “Honestly, it’s so integral to my process at this point, I don’t even know how I could act in an Australian accent.”
6:30: A slight digression about Mary, Queen of Scots.
8:15: Margot Robbie’s past jobs at Subway, cleaning houses, and working in a surf store.
10:00: “I could have been arrested for assault but instead they gave me the part.”
11:30: How producing and acting go well together, and some advice from Tina Fey.
14:34: Charles Randolph interview begins.
20:00: The only way that Bombshell resembles Marriage Story.
22:30: “Kayla is our emotional center. Kayla is the person we most identify with. And at the same time she’s the most unlike so many of the moviegoers who will go to see this film. So for me she’s always been the character who’s emotional journey is the truest to my own personal journey, having come from that world.”
32:00: Charles Randolph on his upcoming film with Robert De Niro… and his new project about Gawker.
Bombshell, written by Charles Randolph and directed by Jay Roach, is in theaters Friday.