Russell Crowe has physically transformed himself many times for roles, getting in literal fighting shape for Gladiator and Cinderella Man and gaining weight for numerous movies, including The Insider and, most recently, last year’s Joel Edgerton-directed Boy Erased. But Crowe is almost unrecognizable in the Showtime miniseries The Loudest Voice (premieres June 30), about the disgraced, and now late, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. So, how exactly did Crowe transform into the media company executive?
“Well, I’d actually just done a thing for Joe Edgerton and I was on my way back down to [a normal weight],” says the Oscar-winner. “If I’m adjusting weight, I try not to do it suddenly. I’ve learned my lessons from the past. You go up gradually and you come down gradually. So, I was part way through that. I was, I don’t know, thirty pounds or something into that, and this came up and so I went back the other way.”
“The transformation really with this is largely to do with the skill of the makeup guys,” Crowe continues. “It wasn’t something that I was fully focused on when I first said, ‘Yes.’ But then, when I started getting into it, I realized I actually can’t do this without prosthetic makeup. So, we used Adrien Morot, who I worked with before on Noah. At the beginning, our first applications were taking five and six hours, but we eventually got that down to under three. And you put prosthetics on, and you’ve also got the problem of taking them off at the end of the day, and sometimes that would take two hours. So, when you add that on top of your work day, it means that every day is extreme.”
While Crowe seems happy enough to lay out the work which went into his physical transformation, the actor admits he’d also be happy never to discuss the subject again.
“I’ve really stopped talking to people about preparation,” he says. “Because preparation becomes the article. It becomes what people talk about. And that’s really boring. The mathematics of how you get there is nowhere near as much fun as what you did when you got there.”
The Loudest Voice also stars Naomi Watts as Gretchen Carlson, Sienna Miller as Ailes’ wife Elizabeth, Seth MacFarlane as former Fox News PR chief Brian Lewis, and Simon McBurney as News Corp leader Rupert Murdoch.
Watch the trailer for The Loudest Voice above.