The first time I saw Russell Crowe was in the movie Romper Stomper. I
was lucky enough to actually see it in the movie theater because I was
living in Australia at the time. It was an amazing performance and I
never forget it or his name, so when the next time I heard of him was
for casting news for one of my favorite books, L.A. Confidential, you
can bet I was excited. He is a perfect Bud White.
So here's some of my favorite stuff about Russell Crowe -- we've got movies, interviews, and his massive temper tantrums, which as far as I'm concerned are just another reason to love him. Just note -- since this is Russell we are talking about, direct quotes tend to favor lots of swearing. I thought about editing them, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
Just what is it about this guy who gets into so much trouble and yet remains so appealing. I think this quote sums it up for me in a nutshell:
"He makes me want to be a farm wife. I would go to the outback, spend the rest of my life barefoot and pregnant, and he would, whatever, push the plow and herd the cows. He'd never wear a shirt. He makes me want to cook dinner." —an East Village fan
My Favorite Russell Crowe Movies
There are very few missteps in Russell Crowe's career and most of them came quite early so there's no need to even talk about them. Probably the only movie recently that might be a questionable choice was A Good Year, but I actually quite like it. It's just... no one else did! Hmmm, and maybe Body of Lies too, simply because the story is so empty. I think everyone's time would have been better spent on a different project, but as you might expect Russell and Leo DiCaprio had some deliciously antagonistic chemistry.
So narrowing the list down to these four films that represent my favorites is a bit of a tough choice. But what these movies all have in common is a character that Russell Crowe inhabits perfectly. The other thing they have in common is chemistry. Russell Crowe nearly always has blazing chemistry with the other actors he works with, most particularly the men. In three of these movies that relationship starts antagonistic and then changes over the course of the movie.
I love the collaborative relationship between Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe and American Gangster is the perfect fulfillment of it. You have the great chemistry that Denzel Washington and Russell share together and the excellent performances they both give. And not incidentally, something about the 70s seem to suit Rusty's looks perfectly.
Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. Two hotheads in one movie. I'm surprised they didn't give the director a heart attack. But some contretemps happened at some point because Russell Crowe refused to do any promotion for this movie. Which is a crying shame because that means it pretty much sank like a stone and its one of his finest films.
In fact, 3:10 to Yuma dukes it out with American Gangster for the no. 1 place in my heart. From the first moment you see Russell sitting on his horse until the last moment that you see him, he's perfect. Russell Crowe doesn't play bad guys often, but he's soooo good at it. Ben Wade is like a gentleman gangster. Christian Bale is a down at his heels farmer tasked with the job of getting Wade on that train. It's a great Western and Rusty and Bale have great chemistry.
LA Confidential is a book I read long before this movie was made. It is one of my favorite books and definitely my favorite by James Ellroy. The screenwriter, Brian Helgeland, does an amazing job condensing a story that sprawls over 10 years. And Russell Crowe is the perfect Bud White. And Guy Pearce as Ed Exley? And the bristling chemistry of hate between them? And then when they partner up to go after the real bad guys? I really love this movie!
Master and Commander is another book adapted from a novel. Actually two novels. Patrick O'Brian wrote a hugely popular series of books about the sea-going adventures of Capt Jack Aubrey and his best friend, Dr Stephen Maturin. There are 20 or so books and this movie is based on the first and the third. Upon seeing it, you would swear that Russell Crowe is Jack Aubrey. It's like he was born just so he could come along and play this character. I just wish the movie had made enough money so we could get some sequels. Oh, and the relationship between Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany is delightful... as it was in A Beautiful Mind.
Russell Crowe's Fighting (and other Bad Behavior)
One of the things I really love about Russell Crowe is that not only is
he a complete yob (as my ex calls him), but he's a very smart yob who
is deeply inquisitive and has been maintaining some kind of punk ethos
regarding 'selling out' from the late 1970s. He also reads a lot. Like
a lot. " ". That much!
In a lot of ways, the wild diva-like acting out really does not fit with the rest of his very thoughtful personality at all. He really is too smart and too serious about "the job" to be indulging in that kind of behaviour, but oh I am so glad he does, because I find it so amusing in a very schadenfreude sorta way. To be frank though, he's settled down a bit over the past couple of years, so it may be all in the distant past. Marriage and kids can do that to ya!
Random Bar Brawls - A security camera outside a Sydney nightclub reportedly captures Russell Crowe igniting at least two multiparty brawls, in which he bites a man, kisses a man, punches a woman, rips a woman's shirt, and slugs his own brother. - Village Voice
The Phone Throwing Incident - Actor Russell Crowe was arraigned Monday afternoon in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges of second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly throwing a hotel telephone that struck a hotel employee in the face. - CNN
On head-butting actor Peter Cousins - He was screaming at me at the time. He was calling me all manner of things and the all the other cast - or the three principal guys that I worked with, or that I shared a dressing with, were holding my arms. So that's all I had left to hit him with. And he fucking deserved it. - from 60 Minutes interview
Russell Crowe on Shakespeare in Love
From GQ Interview
presume that you're the kind of person who, when someone tells you to
get fucked, that doesn't preclude you're having a working relationship
No, because he [Harvey Weinstein] was justifiably annoyed, because I'd been following another project for three and a half years and he had got me what he thought was what I required. But I was fucking right about that movie, too. It was a 100 percent fucking home run, except the central character of William Shakespeare was not a fucking writer -- he was not smelly enough, he was not unshaven enough, and obviously hadn't had enough to drink. He was some prissy pretty boy. What the fuck? That's so disrespectful.
And you had in mind a smelly, unshaven, drunk guy you thought could do it?
Yeah, I wanted to see that grizzly fucker. I wanted to see him flower. I wanted to see him blossom under the fact of love. I wanted to see where the sonnets came from. They came from the same pen of despair that wrote Timon of Athens -- I wanted to see that guy. I wanted to see that guy with the sensibilities of a man that could create a body of work that would last century after century. I wanted to see that.
And you wanted to be that?
I wanted to play that character. I loved the script. I mean, it was an incredibly well observed script about actors. That's why I thought it was so cool.
Do you still think your version would have been better?
[laughs] By fucking miles, mate. What are you talking about?
More Favorite Russell Crowe quotes
If you're insecure, don't f---ing call.
People accuse me of being arrogant all the time. I'm not arrogant, I'm focused. I don't make demands. I don't tell you how it should be. I'll give you fucking options, and it's up to you to select or throw 'em away. That should be the headline: If you're insecure, don't fucking call. - Los Angeles Times (October 31,1999)
I'd move to Los Angeles if New Zealand and Australia were swallowed up by a tidal wave, if there was a bubonic plague in England and if the continent of Africa disappeared from some Martian attack. - New York Daily News (2000)
Russell Crowe disses George Clooney
The Russell Crowe George Clooney Feud
Favorite Quote: What's the character in this film, George? George, is it? George plays George in the new movie, George.
Crowe says, "I had a good laugh when Clooney tried to compare doing ads for suits, and a car and a drink to what I do as a musician. An endorsement is about money. My music is from the heart."
Not content with slamming his rival's commercial appearances, the GLADIATOR heart-throb rubbishes Clooney's acting ability and career motivation.
He adds, "The job is to take on other characters, otherwise you could just call every character you play the same name. What's the character in this film, George? George, is it? George plays George in the new movie, George.
"I believe if you take on characters for a living, you can't make yourself into an icon in order to sell a pair of shoes." - Russel Crowe George Clooney Feud Continues
Russell Crowe Movies on Blu-Ray
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