Naomi Watts joins Showtime’s Roger Ailes series
Oscar-nominated actress Naomi Watts has officially joined the cast of the upcoming Showtime limited series The Loudest Voice in the Room. Based on the book about Fox News founder Roger Ailes, Watts will take on the role of journalist Gretchen Carlson, the first woman to file a sexual harassment suit against Ailes.
Based on the Gabriel Sherman book, the eight-episode series is set around Ailes and will focus on the last decade of his life, while also flashing back to key moments in his career, including his meeting with Richard Nixon on The Mike Douglas Show that both put him on the political path he became known for, as well as the sexual harassment accusations that would lead to his downfall.
“In many ways, the collision between the media and politics has come to define the world we live in today,” David Nevins, President and CEO of Showtime Networks, said. “We’ve seen this phenomenon depicted on screen as far back as the story of Charles Foster Kane, and it finds contemporary embodiment in the rise and fall of Roger Ailes. With Russell Crowe in the lead role, this limited series promises to be a defining story for this era.”
The series will be told through multiple viewpoints and aims to shed light on the psychology of Ailes and how the political process influenced him so much in his career. produced by Spotlight‘s Tom McCarthy and Jason Blum, the first episode was co-written by McCarthy and Sherman, who conducted over 600 reviews for his book.
Showtime’s limited series is not the only Ailes-centric project in the works as Annapurna is developing their own feature film on him. Director Jay Roach (Game Change) is set to direct the film which includes Charlize Theron as former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.
Watts most recently worked with Showtime on the 18-part limited revival of the cult classic series Twin Peaks and is known for roles in such acclaimed films as Mulholland Dr., The Ring, 21 Grams, King Kong, Eastern Promises, The Impossible and BIrdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). She was last seen in the short-lived Netflix series Gypsy and can be seen in the upcoming British historical drama Ophelia, based on William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” but told through the perspective of Ophelia, with the release date still in question.
Production on The Loudest Voice in the Room is set to begin next month.