Annabelle Wallis plays former Fox News staffer Laurie Luhn on Showtime’s The Loudest Voice. Luhn claimed to be a silent victim of sexual harassment from former chairman and CEO of Fox News, Roger Ailes, for two decades of her career at Fox.
“I was threatened for many years not to ever discuss any of it with anyone… so I never told a living soul,” Luhn said in an interview for ABC News 20/20. “He reinforced with me how great he was. And he’d say, ‘I’m your only friend. I’m the only person in the world that you can trust. You can’t trust anyone else.’ So you say that enough times to someone and it’s reality.”
Wallis has all of the respect for Luhn and feels protective of her despite not having any sort of contact with her.
“She paved a path for a conversation that’s happening now,” said Wallis. “She was at the pillar of a shift that had to happen so that we could get here now. I hope she knows her value in that, and that the things that happened to her, the harrowing things that she went through, she helped us on our journey to a better place.”
Wallis saw the project as a way to continue the conversation for women.
“It was so much a story that is in the public consciousness, it’s in the forefront of our generation’s consciousness,” she said. “It’s part of the narrative of the news. It’s what’s happening in my industry. It’s really the source of a voice that is shifting for women and all people.”
Ailes shaped the way news was given, watched, and talked about. As she researched more about the show, Wallis became aware of her participation in this very opinionated news environment.
“I then realized that I am a product of Roger Ailes’ world,” explained Wallis. “I am a news absorbing, social media, soundbite generation. I’m of the generation that Roger Ailes is very, very influential of, and it’s absorbing, knowing how to get people to react, even if it’s for the wrong reasons, and creating this charged environment that makes our primal instincts react, and knowing that I can go into a place and judge someone’s perspective of the news or the way they see the world, but I am full participant in enabling it.”
She continued: “It was very interesting to go into something and be like, ‘Oh wow, I cannot judge because I am part and parcel of the problem of the zeitgeist that we have all together created that, yes, had sparked from one person.’ It’s been an interesting and humbling experience.”
Watch new episodes of Showtime’s limited series The Loudest Voice on Sunday nights at 10/9c.