This year, audiences will be ‘treated’ to not one but two dramatizations of the fall of Roger Ailes, former Fox News Chairman and accused sexual predator. There will be a cinematic version called Fair and Balanced, centered more on the women of the channel and their altercations with Ailes, to be played by John Lithgow. Jay Roach is directing, Charlize Theron is playing Megyn Kelly (and looks eerily spot on), and the cast also includes Allison Janney, Margot Robbie, Kate McKinnon, Malcolm McDowell as Rupert Murdoch, and Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson. The last part is particularly ironic because Kidman’s real life BFF is also playing Carlson, this time in The Loudest Voice, a Showtime mini-series based on Gabriel Sherman’s biography of Ailes. This one is apparently set to be a more all-encompassing biographical dissection of Ailes, with particular focus on the past decade when Ailes made Fox News into essentially the GOP’s official propaganda station. Sienna Miller will play Ailes’s wife Beth, Seth MacFarlane (yeah, really) stars as Ailes’ trusted PR adviser Brian Lewis, and then there’s Ailes himself.
Get a first look at an unrecognizable @russellcrowe as Roger Ailes, Sienna Miller as his wife Elizabeth Ailes and more in @Showtime’s upcoming limited series #TheLoudestVoice https://t.co/0cKhHxm18i pic.twitter.com/sUygpSu12l— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) April 11, 2019
Yes, that’s Russell Crowe.
Oscar-winner @russellcrowe spends two and a half hours a day (down from the initial six) morphing into Roger Ailes for #TheLoudestVoice: "By the time we reach the end, I’ll have spent over 12 days of my life in this chair” https://t.co/KeRO3Mketx pic.twitter.com/aIefj4XO9j— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) April 11, 2019
The Hollywood Reporter has dedicated its latest cover story to The Loudest Voice. According to the piece, written by Lacey Rose, ‘over seven episodes, the show will explore how Ailes rose to power as a master of news as provocative stagecraft, trouncing his rivals and happily feeding a period of partisan acrimony.’
The piece also notes that the series will premiere several months before Fair and Balanced, and that ‘the Showtime writers ‘deemed [Megyn] Kelly so irrelevant to their story, [that] she isn’t a character at all.’ Ouch, but also ha.
The actors talk about their processes in getting into character, with Naomi Watts detailing how she relied on video and books to nail Gretchen Carlson’s character, in part because an NDA restricts Carlson herself from talking about her time at Fox News. Carlson had previously slammed the Jay Roach project, claiming Nicole Kidman ‘looks nothing like me’ and that it was ‘hard to see your own story faked’, although she didn’t indicate whether or not she had read the script. She told The Hollywood Reporter that she was ‘flattered to have an incredibly talented actress such as Naomi Watts depict my story and help continue the important conversation around sexual harassment in the workplace.’ So points, Naomi.
Personally, I get why a show like this got optioned and how these stories are seen as so prescient and necessary in our current climate, but wow do I just not want to watch either version of this story right now. Also the prosthetics on Crowe are suspect at best. For comparison’s sake, here’s an on-set image of how Lithgow will apparently look in the same role.
First look at John Lithgow as Roger Ailes and more of Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly. pic.twitter.com/IyLOGlpjyb— Erik Anderson (@awards_watch) December 10, 2018
What do you all think? Are you up for either version of this story or are you sitting out Roger Ailes on all fronts?
Header Image Source: Getty Images.