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May 31, 2019

Naomi Watts and Russell Crowe Discuss Their Transformational Roles in The Loudest Voice with Emmy Magazine

Emmy magazine goes behind the scenes with Russell Crowe and Naomi Watts, who share tales of their deep-rooted friendship and their transformation into the roles of Roger Ailes and Gretchen Carlson in the Showtime drama The Loudest Voice.

The award-winning official publication of the Television Academy hits newsstands June 3.

Based on the bestselling book by Gabriel Sherman, the seven-part limited series, premiering June 30, depicts the rise and fall of late Fox News Channel CEO Ailes, who resigned from the cable network two weeks after former FNC anchor Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him.

In cover story "Sage of the City," writer and executive producer Alex Metcalf describes the challenge of casting the role of Ailes and the need to select an actor with the necessary gravitas. "The ability to turn emotionally on a dime was a very tried-and-true tactic that Roger used to keep his people off balance," said Metcalf. Crowe was up for the challenge and proved to be the right actor for the job. "It's not always that you get the opportunity to play a character of such complexity," said Crowe.

In addition to mastering both the complexities of Ailes's personality and his shuffle-like walk, Crowe was subjected to hours in the makeup chair each day to perfect the prosthetic essential to his transformation. "After five minutes of watching the show, he [Crowe] disappears, and you're just watching Roger Ailes," said Sherman, who served as a co-executive producer on the series.

Crowe and Watts were destined to be costars. The Australian performers have known each other for decades. Crowe even crashed on Watts's couch in the early days of his acting career in Los Angeles. The actor was thrilled with the opportunity to collaborate with Watts: "Her version of Gretchen brought a blowtorch of focus every day," said Crowe.

The duo shared several difficult scenes in the series, but Crowe believes their friendship made the work even better. "Trust and mutual respect make those things less uncomfortable," Crowe explains. Watts describes how Crowe always kept her on her toes: "He is a powerhouse. His voice. His sense of power. It's scary being in a scene with someone in that part who is really thriving in it."

Watts's transformation included trading her Aussie accent for Carlson's Minnesota dialect, but she was primarily focused on capturing the former on-air star's essence. "I saw unbelievable discipline and passion and focus and courage," Watts said. "All of those things had to live inside this woman so that she could slay a man like Roger Ailes with all of the power that he had."

The stellar performances are sure to make Showtime's new series appealing to viewers of all social backgrounds. "At the heart of it all, it's a very intimate story of all these very close-knit characters," said Sherman. "You don't have to be a news junkie to get pulled in. It's a very human story at its heart."

Additional feature highlights from the new issue include:

  • As they return for a second season, the cast of Pose are able to reflect on the triumphs of creating a show that inspires hope in the LGBTQ+ community. In "License to Thrill," emmy explores the real-life inspiration that motivated the cast and series writers.
  • In "A Dog and a Baby Walk Into...," emmy connects with Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and executive producers Rich Appel, Alec Sulkin and Steve Callaghan to discuss the evolution of the animated comedy as it enters its 20th season.
  • Emmy talks to Hugh Grant about his role in the award-winning Amazon series A Very English Scandal. In "The Right Kind of Wrong," Grant shares his journey to become an actor and why he is content as a veteran in the industry.

Download the press release here.

For issue/coverage contacts:
Carla Schalman

Stephanie Goodell

breakwhitelight for the Television Academy

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