It’s been an interesting few months for mainstream movies and promises of LGBTQ+ representation, from “Avengers: Endgame” and its blink-and-you-miss-it “gay moment” to “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and its also blink-and-you-miss-it (and cut out of its Singapore release) same-sex kiss to whatever the MCU is doing with a future trans character. Jay Roach’s Roger Ailes scandal piece “Bombshell” is not on the scale of those movies nor was it ever promoted with the promise of similar inclusion, but after a Variety cover story with one of the film’s stars, Margot Robbie, it has technically joined the conversation of hypothetical representation in film.
In “Bombshell,” Robbie’s Kayla Pospisil sleeps with Kate McKinnon’s closeted lesbian character Jess Carr after a drunken night at the bar. In the aftermath, Kayla tells Jess, “Oh, I’m not a lesbian!” What could easily have been just a throwaway line, however, ended up being a line that Robbie spent quite a bit of time focusing on when creating the character for her own portrayal.
“I wanted to deliver that completely genuinely, not being ironic, not being sarcastic,” Robbie said. And while the movie doesn’t address Kayla’s sexuality moving forward, for Robbie, that “huge aspect of her story and emotional journey that’s unresolved — I couldn’t just let that be.” When mapping out the rest of Kayla’s life, Robbie told Variety that she saw Kayla as the type of person who “compartmentalizes” her attraction to women, adding that “she is not going to acknowledge it until she’s 60.”
Robbie added, “I secretly want a spinoff movie where Kayla and Jess go on a road trip with their opposing political views and blossoming romance.”
But people probably shouldn’t hold out hope for Robbie’s Kayla — who is an original character created by screenwriter Charles Randolph for the movie, a composite of real women at FOX News — getting that spin-off movie (unlike how Robbie’s Harley Quinn did post-“Suicide Squad”). Robbie noted that she actually told “Bombshell” director Jay Roach her belief that Kayla would end up with a woman.
“Jay was probably a little surprised, but entertained by that, I’m sure,” she said. “I was like, ‘I know this doesn’t come into play in the movie, I just need to know what happens to Kayla.’’
According to Robbie, “A character always starts off as just this bit of writing on the page. And then by the end of it, she’s such a real person to me.”