Beaming into Deadline’s livestreamed Contenders Television virtual event all the way from his home in the Australian Bush country, Oscar winner Russell Crowe discussed why he decided to make a rare foray into TV by playing Roger Ailes, the disgraced force behind the creation of Fox News Channel who was eventually ousted in a high-profile sexual harassment scandal.
“You generally tend not to do something as large as this or as long as this,” Crowe said. “I think at the end of the day it was something like 68 applications. The first one was six and a half hours… If you’re going to pretend to be Roger you have to step into that.”
At first when producer Jason Blum approached him for the role, Crowe wasn’t interested — until he read what he described as a compelling and honest script. “You don’t get asked to do that kind of challenge often,” he said. “There aren’t 20 people waiting outside your door with something truly so scary a prospect that you know it’s going to keep you up at night. That doesn’t happen all the time. When it does come around you have to be honest about why you do the job.”
He added that there was a definite risk factor involved. “Perversely, that made it more attractive trying to find the humanity in somebody who did, and said, this collection of things and you know that because it’s on the record, and it’s f*cking real,” he said.
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