Megyn Kelly has seen Bombshell -- and she has some thoughts.
The former Fox News host is one of the subjects of Jay Roach's new film, which tracks the stories of Kelly, Gretchen Carlson and multiple other women at the conservative-leaning news network who accused CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment. As the film makes its final push towards the Oscars, with buzz for Charlize Theron (who plays Kelly), Nicole Kidman (who plays Carlson) and Margot Robbie (who plays a fictional character, Kayla Pospisil, who represents a composite of several of Ailes' accusers), Kelly sat down to watch the film for herself, along with a few other former Fox News alum.
The emotional account was documented for Kelly's YouTube channel, in a video posted on Thursday titled "Megyn Kelly Presents: A Response to "Bombshell" - Full Discussion." The former host of The Kelly File was joined by Juliet Huddy (former host of Fox’s The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet), Rudi Bakhtiar (former Fox News reporter) and Julie Zann (former associate producer of Fox News Live), as well as her husband Douglas Brunt, to share their reactions to Bombshell as well as their own accounts of the atmosphere at Fox News under Ailes.
"It's very surreal to see a story that involves you be told without you being able to tell it," said Huddy, who settled a lawsuit against Fox News in Jan. 2017 which alleged sexual harassment from longtime Fox anchor Bill O'Reilly and co-president Jack Abernethy. "They got a lot right, but they got a lot-- not wrong, but it was a little weird."
Kelly in particular also praised the casting of The Morning Show star Mark Duplass as Brunt, noting that he captured her husband's humor, kindness and support, though she said she couldn't speak to Theron's performance. "I'm just too close to it. It's too weird to see someone who looks just like you, on the screen, pretending to be you."
All four of the women teared up during their screening of Bombshell, describing the fraught "elevator scene" hinted at in the trailer as one of the most emotional moments to watch. "You immediately go to what happened to you, and what her fate was in that room," Zann said, recalling the ensuing interaction that Robbie's character has with John Lithgow's Ailes in his office as being "very, very close to what actually happened" to her.
Speaking for the first time on camera about her alleged harassment, Zann praised the film for some of its most uncomfortable moments, noting that it might help viewers understand what she says her interactions with Ailes were like.
"People would say, 'Did he ever hit on you?' And I hated how people would ask that questions," she said, fighting back tears. "It's like, you have no idea what it actually felt like. At least these visual representations go there in showing in you it was much more than, 'I'd like to take you out to dinner.'"
Kelly read journal entries that detail her alleged interactions with Ailes -- which matched up with Zann's accounts in uncanny detail, and they all recalled being asked to perform "the infamous spin" for the powerful predator. Bakhtiar's claims were made against former Fox anchor Brian Wilson -- and she said that their scene in the movie plays out very similarly to how it happened in real life.
However, the women also pointed out some fictional moments in Bombshell's account. Zann said she felt the film let Ailes "off easy," while Kelly refuted a scene which shows the CEO getting pushback from members of Fox's PR team when he orders a publicity hit on Kelly. "The notion that Irena Briganti did not plant hit pieces on the talent is a fantasy... that was the no. 1 thing they got wrong. Irena, 100%, would hit talent." (A FOX News spokesperson vehemently denied this accusation in a statement to ET.)
And the one scene that all four women called "bulls**t" on was when Robbie's character accosts Theron's Kelly about keeping quiet with her accusations against Ailes, blaming her for future harassment the CEO was able to carry out. Zann, Huddy and Bakhtiar all affirmed that Kelly was a "real support system" as they navigated their own legal battles with the network, though Kelly admitted the scene stirred up recurring feelings of guilt on her end.
"The truth is that I've looked back on my own life, every moment from that moment forward, and I do wish I had done more. Even though I was powerless, even though it would have been a suicidal move for me, career-wise... What if I had thrown myself in the fire back then?"
She also saw herself in the uplifting scenes, however, noting that a moment when Theron's character looks at her daughter, Yardley, and hopes for a different experience for future generations, was a poignant touchstone for her in real life. "I do feel like, thanks to all the women who have come forward -- and men, too -- we're at least closer to preventing that from happening for her. That's it right there, right? What more can you ask."
See more about Bombshell -- which is in theaters now -- in the video below.