Russell Crowe is undeniably one of the hottest
actors in Hollywood. After making a huge impact on North American
moviegoers in the 1997 hit L.A. Confidential, the native
New Zealander was more than ready to show us what he was made of.
He has consistently amazed audiences with his on screen versatility,
starring in films such as such as Mystery, Alaska
where he had to learn how to skate like a pro hockey player.
For his Oscar-nominated role in The Insider, Crowe gained
40 pounds to portray Dr. Jeffrey Wigand a real life
tobacco company whistle-blower.
For his latest film, Crowe is trim and fit. He is starring in Ridley
Scotts Gladiator, in which he plays the great Roman
General, Maximus a man who becomes the greatest hero in the
Gladiator has probably been the most demanding role youve
had to prepare for to date. How was it getting ready for those intense
RC: It was challenging and demanding in terms of physicality, but
not as challenging and demanding as learning how to ice skate for
Mystery, Alaska. For Gladiator, I had a few skills
within me already, like horse riding, but it was a long process
building up to the beginning of shooting. I used to do dance routines
in stage musicals when I was younger so a 200-move fight routine
was pretty easy.
Youve played your share of non-fictitious and fictitious
characters which do you prefer and why?
RC: I prefer fictitious characters because you have less responsibility
and you are able to arbitrarily make decisions on behalf of that
character and nobody can argue with you because its fiction.
But look at the role that got you an Oscar nomination
playing tobacco industry whistle blower Jeffrey Wigand?
RC: I really did enjoy the process of playing Wigand in The
Insider, but Im not somebody who does impersonations.
I would never get a job on Saturday Night Live, so that
was very difficult for me and a lot of extra pressure, you know,
wondering whether or not you were going to get anywhere near the
Over the course of your film career you have worked with some
pretty impressive directors but what was it like working
with Ridley Scott?
RC: It was very interesting. Ill tell you, this movie, with
the budget that we had and the amount of people involved and the
amount of extras involved, shooting in three different countries
(England, Malta and Morocco), it was like doing quantum physics
So how did Ridley tie it all together did he give you
a lot of freedom as an actor?
RC: There was a lot of freedom in general because we only started
with 35 pages. Im just going to try and stop short of saying
we kind of made it up as we went along, but in reality there was
great collaboration. All of us, from myself to Ridley Scott to the
executives on the picture, wanted to make a film that had some resonance
because what you do in life echoes an eternity.
--article found by Caligula