Showtime’s ‘The Loudest Voice:’ You Won’t Be Able to Recognize These Two Actors

Showtime’s upcoming miniseries The Loudest Voice takes a look at the life and career of former Chairman and CEO of Fox News and Fox Television Stations Roger Ailes, who left the cable network in July 2016 due to allegations of sexual harassment. Ailes died in May 2017 at age 77 due to a fall.

Roger Ailes | Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Naomi Watts and Seth McFarland appear in the limited series, as well as two Hollywood powerhouses who both underwent major physical transformations to fulfill their roles.

Recognize this former gladiator?

Renowned actor Russell Crowe plays Ailes, who recently spoke on the Today Show of playing the aging network executive. Crowe, who had to go through hours of makeup for filming, called the experience “freeing,” according to UPI. “It’s a lot of fun, actually,” Crowe said. “The difficulty of being in the chair for many hours and sitting still is not really my thing, but once you have that stuff on it’s kind of freeing. You know the makeup’s doing a lot of work for you, so you can just relax with it.”

Crowe also appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and commented on how he had to have heavy prosthetics put on to play Ailes. He also wore two bald caps, and a full neck piece, according to UPI. “When we first started, the prosthetic process was six hours, but then over time we got it down,” Crowe said. “The quickest we did it one day was two hours and 17 minutes.”

Entertainment Weekly reported that Crowe also had to gain weight for the role. “I’d actually just done a thing for Joe Edgerton and I was on my way back down to [a normal weight],” Crowe said, according to Entertainment Weekly. “If I’m adjusting weight, I try not to do it suddenly. I’ve learned my lessons from the past. You go up gradually and you come down gradually. So, I was part way through that. I was, I don’t know, thirty pounds or something into that, and this came up and so I went back the other way.”

A different role for Miller

Sienna Miller has been in several high-profile films, including the 2014 blockbuster American Sniper. In the Showtime miniseries, she portrays Elizabeth Ailes, wife of the Fox CEO. She commented on having a similar experience to Crowe’s in the physical conversion of her character, which also included undergoing heavy makeup and facial prosthetics. “It’s so convincing that it’s very strange to look in a mirror and not recognize any part of yourself,” Miller said, as reported by UPI. “It was fun. I found it very liberating once you were in, like Russell said.”

According to Refinery29, Elizabeth did not want to take part in the project. Miller decided to respect that decision and not reach out to her for background information.

“There was no need for me to get her involved, knowing that she was so against the idea of this being made,” Miller said, as reported by Refinery29. “I didn’t want to rub salt in the wound…and as soon as I start worrying about her and her feelings, I can’t tell the story we’re trying to tell.” Miller chose instead to portray the role based on books, speeches, and conversations with people who know Elizabeth.

Based on a best-selling book

The miniseries is based on the bestselling book “The Loudest Voice in the Room” by Gabriel Sherman, who interviewed more than 600 people regarding Ailes, according to People. The program will explore different areas of Ailes’ life from multiple points of view. The show also features Simon McBurney and Annabelle Wallis.