Russell Crowe says playing Roger Ailes in 'The Loudest Voice' went deeper than makeup

The role makes Russell Crowe nearly unrecognizable.

Is that really Russell Crowe? The Oscar winner is nearly unrecognizable in his newest role -- playing controversial late Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes in "The Loudest Voice."

"I originally thought there would be multiple ways that we could approach Roger over time," Crowe said in an appearance on "Popcorn with Peter Travers." "But in reality, by 96, he was pretty much how he was going to be for the rest of his life. He had certain phases when he was younger. He had a phase when he wore a goatee. He had a phase where he wore a lot of purple. But by the time you get to 96, Roger pretty much looks like Roger does for the rest of his days."

Crowe added that viewers actually see very little of him on screen.

"So I kind of had only one option," Crowe said, "and that was to go with prosthetics, two bald caps, full facial stuff, full neck. The only thing of me you can see is a little bit of my forehead, my eyes and my mouth. Everything else is makeup."

Adding to the makeup, Crowe had to transform his body as well.

"I knew Roger's height and I knew his width. And I'm a lot taller than him. So I had to also work to the geometry of him to try and get the middle in relation to the height, the latitude and longitude of him. And that was quite tricky," he said.

Download the all new "Popcorn With Peter Travers" podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Tunein, Google Play Music and Stitcher.

For Crowe, it was important for him to offer as true a portrayal as he could.

"I probably don't sound like Roger Ailes. I probably don't really walk like Roger Ailes," Crowe, 55, told Travers. "I probably don't actually forensically look like Roger Ailes. But what I try to do is, something of what I'm doing, holds the truth of who he was as a man."