Cele|bitchy » Blog Archive » Russell Crowe talks Michael Jackson, prank phone calls & old alcoholics
Russell Crowe is the cover boy for the June issue of GQ UK, all to promote Robin Hood. But don’t go thinking that this will be a profile of one of the biggest, most hardcore actors around! Oh, no. From the man who allegedly told a director, “I’m the greatest actor in the world and I can make even sh-t sound good” we get this lovely quote: “I know some hard men, mate, and I am not a hard man. I’m a guy who likes poetry, who writes songs. I put on make-up for a living.” Excellent! Mascara? Here’s more from the GQ interview, courtesy of The Telegraph:
Russell Crowe says his hard man image is a myth, claiming he is a poetry-loving pacifist who wears make-up for a living and disapproved of hellraiser Oliver Reed. The actor, star of the forthcoming Robin Hood remake, prefers to fell his opponents with “intellectual barbs” rather than his fists. [From The Telegraph]
“I am always described as ‘Hollywood Hard Man’. It’s just ridiculous. I know some hard men, mate, and I am not a hard man. I’m a guy who likes poetry, who writes songs. I put on make-up for a living. Give me a break. If I was a hard man, I wouldn’t be any good at my job,” Crowe told GQ magazine.
“How many times have you read that I punch photographers? I have never punched a photographer. But I have thrown some of the sharpest intellectual barbs in my life at guys who are chasing me down the street with a camera. I cut them to the quick. They’re lucky to get home with any blood in their system emotionally. And they hate me for it. I’m not sorry.”
His love of verse was evident in 2002, when he threatened a TV producer who cut his poetry recital from a Bafta broadcast. Crowe conceded that he gave the producer “a good single poke in the chest” but said he was suffering from jetlag at the time.
Crowe was scathing about one of Hollywood’s most notorious hellraisers, Oliver Reed, his co-star in Gladiator. Reed died mid-way through filming in Malta after a mammoth drinking session.
“I never got on with Ollie. He has visited me in dreams and asked me to talk kindly of him. So I should… but we never had a pleasant conversation,” Crowe said. “I have seen him walk down the street in Malta drunk as a lord and just hit anybody he got near to - even a man walking with his children. I just found that to be… not impressive. He drank himself to death. He sat on a bar stool until he fell off it and carried on drinking… Lying in his own —- and vomit, he continued to drink ’til he passed out.”
“What did the tabloids estimate he’d had on the day he died? Something like 30 beers, eight or ten dark rums and half a bottle of whisky? In the end, he created such a weird energy around him that no one drinking with him cared.”
In the interview to promote Robin Hood, which opens the Cannes Film Festival next week and reunites him with Gladiator director Ridley Scott, Crowe talked about his music career.
The New Zealand-born actor said his music is popular in Canada. “”Billy Bragg, Sting, Elvis Costello - those guys say, ‘You’re a songwriter’. I got a song on a record in Canada that went gold. It might not be significant to somebody else but it works for me.”
That’s very interesting about Oliver Reed. I didn’t know Reed was such a notorious drunk, but Reed was of that Peter O’Toole-Richard Burton generation of liquor-soaked hellraisers. It’s kind of amazing that O’Toole is still around, honestly. It shocks me every time I think about it.
In another interview excerpt, Russell talks about his friendship with Michael Jackson, saying that Michael used to prank call him: “A gruff voice would say something was wrong, then this tiny little voice said, ‘Don’t worry. This is Michael.’” Russell also says that Michael invited him to Neverland Ranch several times, but Russell never got the chance to go. Russell also claims that he loves to prank call random people too - when he was working on L.A. Confidential, he would prank call the book’s author, James Ellroy, and leave messages like: “Woof-woof, hear the demon dog bark. He’s got a 12-inch wanger and it glows in the dark”. Russell is a very strange man.