In a December 4th interview with The New York Times, Charlize Theron discussed Bombshell, her newly released project in which she stars as Megyn Kelly during the takedown of Fox News’ leading men during the #MeToo movement. Revisiting this period of history within Fox News harkened back to Theron’s own experiences with disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, who “pitted women against each other” for his own gain, Theron said.

charlize theron
Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin, Getty Images

In the interview, Theron talked about a scene in Bombshell in which her costar Margot Robbie’s character is coerced by John Lithgow’s Roger Ailes to hike up her skirt. Theron said this scene was particularly hard to digest because it revolves around Robbie’s character’s “belittlement.”

And it’s the belittlement that reminded interviewer Kyle Buchanan of the women in Hollywood who had to go through Harvey Weinstein to get cast in films throughout the ’90s and ’00s. “[Weinstein] would marginalize them or pit other women against each other to maintain a system where he could stay on top,” Buchanan recalled.

“There was no limit to him,” Theron continued. “Even in the sexual favors, he would still pit us against each other.”

She hopes that Bombshell, though centered around three female leads, will open the eyes of men to what women in the media industry have gone through (and still go through) to this day.

“When men can emotionally engage with what we experience and be just as disturbed by it, it’s a powerful thing,” Theron said. And hopefully it will encourage men to help reshape the power dynamics in Hollywood, news media, and beyond.