Based on the book by Gabriel Sherman, The Loudest Voice in the Room, the Showtime series, The Loudest Voice, will premiere on June 30. The show follows former Fox News creator Roger Ailes (Russell Crowe) and the whirlwind ride of politics, Donald Trump, and the way he had shaped the television news channel. Oscar winner Naomi Watts plays Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News anchor who filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes in 2016.
Watch the trailer below.
Executive producer Jason Blum was the first to tell Watts about the project.
“In this case, I knew the story in the broader sense and, obviously, I know Russell – personally and also his incredible body of work,” said Watts. “It was brought it to my attention by Jason Blum, who I’d worked with, and [executive producer] Tom McCarthy is my neighbor, so it felt very easy to make this decision. Then I read the script and saw what incredible writing it was, and how the story that we knew could just come alive and feel so incredibly current in such a scary way.”
The accusation against Ailes was the starting catalyst to the Me Too Movement. Now with the movement allowing for so many women to come forth, Watts felt the show was a necessary project to present to a broad audience.
“It’s definitely going to bring up tough conversations and you always have that reservation when you know that something is going to get a big reaction in a controversial way,” explained Watts. “It makes you pause. But to me, it just felt so relevant and to play a woman who’s gone through something as horrific as this and to come out on top? It’s quite liberating as an actor to play that kind of role. It feels really juicy and vindicating as well. And again, it speaks to what we’re going through currently. I mean, she really was the first.”
To emulate Gretchen Carlson was a huge task for Watts.
“You have to do a deep dive and find all the material you can and, luckily, the internet has made things much easier; but you don’t know who that person is in the in-between moments,” said Watts. “There are plenty of on-camera moments and you don’t want to get trapped into mimicking. You can sort of fabricate a sense of who that person is through what you see on TV, but when the cameras not there, who is she? Obviously, I’m not going to know that because I’m only seeing her when the cameras are on, so you don’t want to get locked into that newscaster, journalist thing. I want to know who the essence of that woman is.”
The Loudest Voice is a limited series with seven episodes set to air. Watch the premiere on June 30 at 10/9c on Showtime.