How The Cast Of The Loudest Voice Compares To The Real Life Figures

Imagine a world without Fox News (or, perhaps just think of the world before Fox News was founded in 1996). The Loudest Voice, a seven-part mini-series airing on Showtime starting on June 30, looks into the creation of the news network, and Roger Ailes, the controversial figure behind it.

Ailes looms as a larger-than-life figure in recent American history. He died in 2017 at the age of 77, but with Fox News, he left behind a legacy that continues to shape politics and the world-views of many. The Loudest Voice is a portrait of Ailes that focuses especially on his behavior with women who worked for him. In 2016, longtime Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson was the first woman to file a sexual harassment suit against Ailes. The ensuing cavalcade of allegations culminated in Ailes' resignation as Chairman and CEO of Fox News in 2016.


The Loudest Voice turns these recent events into a TV show, with A-list actors playing everyone involved. Here's how the actors stack up to the real figures, most of whom are still around today. What would Hollywood do without prosthetics?

Photo: Wesley Mann/FOX News/Getty Images.
Roger Ailes

Roger Ailes is the man responsible for the media landscape as we know it — and likely the political arena, too. "Without Ailes, there is definitely no Trump," Alex Metcalf, the series' showrunner, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The Loudest Voice paints a devastating portrait of Roger Ailes, but his biography also speaks for him. Ailes founded Fox News in 1996. Two decades later, he was brought down by a slew of sexual harassment allegations, beginning with one from former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson (Ailes denied all the allegations). Ailes resigned from the position of Chairman and CEO of Fox News. He died a year later, in May 2017, of a subdural hematoma aggravated by his hemophilia.
Russell Crowe as Roger Ailes

Crowe was committed to becoming Roger Ailes. He spent a total of 12 days in the make-up chair for this show, he told THR, and each make-up session took at least two hours.

When preparing for the role, Crowe didn't consult Ailes' unofficial biographer, Gabe Sherman, who was frequently on set. Instead, he read Sherman's biography, watched hours of interview footage, and spoke to many of Ailes' friends.

"I've got to start being on Roger's side a little bit — and even that's a journey to totally expose him and bring him down," Crowe told THR.
Photo: Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic
Elizabeth Ailes

Elizabeth Tilson was married to Roger Ailes for nearly two decades. They met at CNBC, where Tilson reported to Ailes as programming executive. They married in 1998 and had a son, Zachary, two years later. Elizabeth stood by Ailes even after the sexual harassment allegations took down his career.
Sienna Miller as Elizabeth Ailes

When paying Elizabeth, Sienna Miller ran into a problem. How do you create a character from a living subject who doesn't want to be involved in the project? Miller decided not to reach out to Elizabeth.

"There was no need for me to get her involved, knowing that she was so against the idea of this being made," Miller told THR. "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."

She created the role based on books, speeches, and conversations with people who know Elizabeth.
Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images.
Gretchen Carlson

Gretchen Carlson, a longtime employee of Fox News, was the first to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes. Carlson spent a full year making tapes of Ailes' behavior and remarks. She was instrumental in bringing down Ailes and kickstarting a conversation about workplace harassment months before the October 2017 New York Times exposé on Harvey Weinstein broke, which was credited with bringing the #MeToo movement into prominence.
Naomi Watts as Gretchen Carlson

The first step to playing Gretchen Carlson is to learn her Minnesota accent. Watts' best friend, Nicole Kidman, will be playing Carlson in the upcoming Ailes movie Fair and Balanced.
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/WireImage.
Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch is the Australian media mogul who funded and supported Ailes vision for Fox News. Murdoch's media empire also includes The Wall Street Journal and The Times of London. After Ailes resigned, Murdoch's son, Lachlan, took over running Fox.
Simon McBurney as Rupert Murdoch

Simon McBurney, aka Kreacher in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, plays Murdoch. The English actor has extensive screen credits beyond playing a house elf in Harry Potter, though — like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He also founded a theater company.
Photo: Paul Morigi/WireImage.
Laurie Luhn

Laurie Luhn worked with Roger Ailes for years. She's not thrilled with her depiction on The Loudest Voice. Luhn has already sued Showtime, believing she is depicted as an enabler to Ailes' abuse, not as a victim. In an interview with New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman, Luhn called Ailes a "predator," and described her uncomfortable one-on-one meetings with him.
Photo Credit: Jim Fiscus/SHOWTIME.
Annabelle Wallis as Laurie Luhn

Annabelle Wallis is a British actress most recognizable for her roles on Peaky Blinders, The Mummy, and The Tudors.
Photo: Taylor Hill/WireImage.
Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity was working for a TV station in Atlanta when he was hired to be an anchor for Fox in 1996. Hannity is still at Fox and is known for his pro-Trump coverage.
Patch Darragh as Sean Hannity

Coincidentally, Patch Darragh appeared on HBO's Succession, a show partly based on the Murdoch family and their oversight of the media conglomerate that owns Fox News.
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