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30 Facts About Russell Crowe – Oldest Actor To Play As Robin Hood

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Russell Ira Crowe, best known for his portrayal of Maximus in “Gladiator,” has a number of accolades including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, three consecutive Oscar nominations, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Here are 30 interesting facts about the actor:

  1. Crowe’s depiction of the Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius in the epic movie “Gladiator,” has been commemorated on an Australian official stamp.
  2. He is the second actor, after Marlon Brando, to portray the character of Jor-El in the movie “Man of Steel.” Ironically, while he was with his band he had his first song entitled “I want to be like Marlon Brando.” He later claimed that, he had never watched any Brando movie, when he performed that song.
  3. He is the oldest actor to play the role of Robin Hood, as he was 45 during the movie. Before him, it was Sean Connery, who played Robin Hood in the 1976 movie “Robin and Marian,” when nearing 45. His age also drew criticism stating he is too old to play the role, due to which, he crash dieted before the shooting began.
  4. He along with Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush, appear twice in the “Legends of the Screen,” postage stamps series, once as themselves and the other as their Academy Award-winning character.
  5. He was born on April 7, 1964 to John Alexander Crowe and Jocelyn Yvonne (née Wemyss). His maternal grandfather, Cinematographer Stan Wemyss, was given a British Honours Medal - MBE for shooting footage of World War II. He showcased the MBE during his Oscar speech in the year 2001.
  6. It is said that he lost his front tooth at the age of 10, while playing rugby, which he got fixed only at the insistence of George Ogilvie, his first film “The Crossing’s” director, when he was 25 years old.
  7. For his role as Jeffrey Wigand in the 1999 movie “The Insider,” he had to gain 40 pounds. However, he lost every bit of it, all before the shooting for the 2000 movie “Gladiator” began. It took him only a few months and he claims that he did not undergo any workout routine or diet. All he did was the normal work on his farm. He owns a 560-acre farm in Australia that is located around 7.5 hours North-West from Sydney.
  8. Crowe agreed to act as Jack Knife in the movie “The Man with the Iron Fists” (2012) in return for rap lessons by the director RZA to the rugby team he co-owns, the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
  9. In the movie “Tenderness” (2009), he played the lead role of Lt. Cristofuoro and shot all his scenes in the whole movie within a span of just 9 days.
  10. His role of Roman General Maximus in “Gladiator,” a historical epic movie, which garnered him an Oscar award for Best Actor, is so far his most favorite character among others.
  11. Initially, Crowe was set to portray both Robin Hood and Sheriff of Nottingham, in the movie “Robin Hood,” but the idea was dropped later.
  12. To mentally prepare for his role as Bud White in the movie “L.A. Confidential,” he moved to a very small apartment where he could barely stand up. This is because the character of White was described to be the biggest cop on the L.A. force by James Ellroy. He claimed that the small apartment made him feel like he was “giant,” when he came to shoot.
  13. In the 2000 movie “Gladiator,” the scene where Crowe, playing the role of Maximus, describes about his home was ad-libbed. The description of the kitchen is arranged and how it smells during daytime and night time is exactly about his house in Australia.
  14. For his role of Javert in “Les Misérables” movie in the year 2012, he was not allowed to have alcohol, due to the physical demands of daily singing. He along with Amanda Seyfried, who performed as Cosette in the movie, admitted that not being able to drink was more like a challenge. Just as the shooting ended, he gifted Seyfried a bottle of whiskey.
  15. During the filming of the “Cinderella Man,” he suffered from several concussions and cracked teeth as professional boxers, who played as opponents to Jimmy Braddock, where directed to land their blows as close as possible to Crowe’s body. But unfortunately, sometimes, they ended up injuring him.
  16. It was reported that Crowe was often unhappy with how the screenplay of “Gladiator” was written, and very frequently walked off the set, if he couldn’t rewrite it to suit his ends. It seems he even refused to say his most famous line “And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next,” calling it garbage to the writer William Nicholson.
  17. In the movie “The Water Diviner,” Crowe’s directorial debut, the horse he rides, is his own horse named Honey.
  18. For his role of Ed Hoffman in the 2008 movie “Body of lies,” directed by Ridley Scott, he had to gain 50 pounds.
  19. In an effort to bond better and work together as a team, Crowe had the crew of his ship in the movie “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” play rugby, when they were not filming. He even had the actors wear shirts with the own name tags as per their characters’ rank on the set, to form a sense of authority.
  20. Even before the filming of “Cinderella Man” started, he dislocated his shoulder during a boxing sequence training, which led to a two months delay in schedule. He learnt how to box from Canadian boxer Wayne Gordon for almost a year. He even installed the training facilities including a ring on his Australian farm. Gordan donated a pair of gloves to the museum in Melfort, Saskatchewan, which was worn by Crowe.
  21. Initially, Crowe was considered for the role of Logan/Wolverine in the 2000 movie “X-Men,” which he turned down due to the character’s similarity with his role of Maximus from “Gladiator.” Coincidentally, Hugh Jackman was also one of the considerations for the role of Maximus.
  22. In the 2007 movie “American Gangster,” he portrayed the character of Richie Roberts. During filming, Crowe requested tape recordings of Roberts speaking, in an attempt to match the voice mannerisms accurately.
  23. To prepare for the role of Capt. Jack Aubrey, in the movie “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” he took violin classes before the filming. He refers to learning violin as the hardest thing he has ever done in his life for a movie. It is said that the chance of working with Peter Weir is the only reason, he committed to portraying Capt. Jack Aubrey.
  24. In the movie “Gladiator,” he attempted to speak his lines in Antonia Banderas’ accent in an effort to show the non-Italic origins of Maximus, which was not accepted by Ridley Scott.
  25. In the sets of “The Insider,” Crowe pranked his young castmates after a scene shot at the school. The castmates who were fooled by the realistic gray wig, became horrified when he started screaming and ripping his hair out.
  26. The entire film “A Beautiful Mind,” was shot in sequence, in an effort to help Crowe with developing a progressive manner of behavior. The scene to the film’s end where he contemplates drinking tea is actually based on a real life incident that happened between Crowe and real John Nash. It is said that he spent nearly 15 minutes to decide whether to drink tea or coffee.
  27. It is said that, he had no interest in reading the “Gladiator’s” script, as he had his complete focus on the role of Jeffrey Wigand in “The Insider.” It was on the insistence of “The Insider” director Michael Mann, that he read the script.
  28. In the movie “Robin Hood” (2010), his attempt at an English accent led to much criticism. He even walked out of an interview with Mark Lawson, for BBC radio, when Lawson questioned him about the accent.
  29. For his role of Jim Braddock in the 2005 movie “Cinderella Man,” he lost nearly 52 pounds weighing just 176 pounds, in comparison to the 228 pounds he had in the 2003 movie “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.”
  30. He married Australian singer Danielle Spencer in the year 1989, whom he met in the sets of his first movie “The Crossing.” It is reported that he and Spencer separated in the October 2012.

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