‘The Loudest Voice:’ Russell Crowe Explains Why He Chose the ‘Challenging’ Role of Roger Ailes
Although award-winning actor Russell Crowe has appeared in over 40 different movies, he has never starred in more than three television episodes until joining Showtime 7-episode miniseries, The Loudest Voice. The Australian-based actor underwent a considerable transformation to portray infamous media consultant and television executive, Roger Ailes, and also served as an executive producer for the series.
During the Deadline Contenders Television event, Crowe opened up about the “challenging” role and why he eventually signed on to the series, despite initially having reservations.
Russell Crowe as Roger Ailes in ‘The Loudest Voice’
Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe dramatically changed his appearance to resemble notorious television executive and media consultant Roger Ailes, for 2019 Showtime miniseries, The Loudest Voice.
Based on the 2014 book “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” by Gabriel Sherman, the show told Ailes’ journey to shaping one of the most influential media networks ever, Fox News.
The series begins with CNBC forcing the former president of the company to resign after offensive comments shortly before media mogul Rupert Murdoch hired Ailes to become the CEO of Fox News in 1996.
Defining moments in the television executive’s history, including the 9/11 attacks, 2008 and 2016 U.S. presidential elections, and the sexual allegations from 23 women that forced him to resign in 2016 are also covered in the series.
The “New Zealander Australian” stars as the media consultant with Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) as former vice president of Fox News Brian Lewis, Sienna Miller (The Girl) as Ailes’ third wife, Beth Tilson Ailes, and Simon McBurney (The Conjuring 2) as Murdoch.
Why Russell Crowe chose the ‘challenging’ role
In the Deadline Contenders Television event, the Oscar-winning actor of Gladiator fame opened up about why he decided to portray the controversial media consultant.
He admitted he initially turned down the role, but producer Jason Blum was “persistent,” and he ended up loving the script. Crowe also wanted to take advantage of the opportunity he had “to play the human being, not the stereotype” and realized that “challenge” doesn’t come around often.
Although he knew the “risk” involved by portraying a “villainized” person, he admitted that made the role “more attractive.” The New Zealand-native continued and explained that “finding the humanity” in Ailes “is the gig” and “the more complex” the person is, “the better,” because it makes it that much more challenging for the award-winning actor.
While doing his research for the media consultant, Crowe said he talked to several people who worked with Ailes and noted their “fondness” for the television executive.
He explained that those who worked near Ailes didn’t see a villain, but rather the media consultant who made them feel they were “achieving something.” Therefore, he saw “a lot of different points to be emphasized” when portraying the morally conflicted character.
When asked how Crowe “internalizes a guy like Roger,” the veteran actor joked, “you have to block your nose and learn your lines.” The Loudest Voice is available to watch on Hulu and iTunes.