John Lithgow on portrayal of Roger Ailes in 'Bombshell' film on 'The View': 'First really great movie of the #MeToo era'

"There's no question I sort of embrace the role of the villain," Lithgow said.

Actor John Lithgow discussed his portrayal of former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes in the highly anticipated film "Bombshell" during his appearance on "The View" Friday.

The film is based on allegations of sexual harassment surrounding Ailes at Fox News. "BOMBSHELL is a revealing look inside the most powerful and controversial media empire of all time; Fox News, and the explosive story of the women who brought down the infamous man who created it," the official description reads.

Roger Ailes, who died in 2017, was forced to resign in 2016 after anchor Gretchen Carlson accused him of sexual harassment in a lawsuit.

Academy Award nominee John Lithgow spoke about how he prepared for the role of Ailes.

"I did everything I could to show you more of Roger Ailes than what you expected. The fact is when I researched him, I found out as much as I could about him, and talked to people who knew him and worked with him," Lithgow said.

"I found just as many people loyal to him and devoted to him as the ones who were terrified and hated him," he continued, adding that it shows "how big the challenge was to show that many sides of a man."

Lithgow said there's no denying that he embraces Ailes as the story's villain, but noted that the film is focused more on the women who surrounded him. Charlize Theron plays journalist and former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly while Nicole Kidman plays Carlson.

"It's not about Roger; it's about everyone else's reaction to Roger, and I just embrace that role," Lithgow said. "I wanted to give a little bit more than just the portrayal of a villain."

Current co-hosts of "The View" and former Fox News journalist Abby Huntsman opened up to Lithgow about her thoughts on the film.

"It brought back so many weird emotions just seeing you play that role," Huntsman said. "He's a very tough one to get right because he's complicated and he's a mix of genius, but a monster."

"I'll be was hard to watch," she continued. "Emotionally, it's a roller coaster, and there were players that were bad, and there were some of the strongest, hardest working women that I've ever worked with and learned from in my life that are still there. They're the ones that keep the lights on in that building and they don't get enough credit for what they do."

Huntsman also reflected on her time at Fox News as a general assignment reporter.

"I look back at my years there and I killed myself. I stayed up more nights reporting stories away from my family, trying to do the best job that I could," she said. "Those stories aren't portrayed because it's not fun to watch."

"Roger [Ailes], frankly as bad of a man as he was, he taught me a lot about how to be an anchor, about how to be a reporter," Huntsman added. "It was horrible to learn after the fact, though, a lot that I clearly wasn't aware of."

Lithgow told Huntsman that "Bombshell" is "a movie about denial in a lot of ways," and that one of the "most poignant and devastating moments" from the film is when Connie Britton, who plays Riger Ailes' wife Beth Ailes, realizes she can no longer deny the allegations against her husband.

"To me it's the first really great movie of the #MeToo era," Lithgow said. "It's the first movie that really confronts it absolutely head-on."

Ailes resigned as Fox News's CEO in July 2016 and died in 2017 after having denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.

"Bombshell" is in select theaters on Dec. 13 and everywhere on Dec. 20.

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