In Summary

  • Still one of the most recognizable actors in the world, the famously short-tempered Hollywood A-lister cuts an intimidating figure, despite being polite and jovial.
  • From modest beginnings in a Wellington suburb, he has done rather well and, unlike many of his contemporaries, has never really suffered a fallow period in a career studded with blockbusters.

LOS ANGELES

Russell Crowe was preparing on set to shoot Ridley Scott's 2010 epic "Robin Hood" when word reached him that his co-star, stage and screen legend William Hurt, was freaking out.

Crowe rushed to the side of his fellow Oscar winner, who had been hired to play William Marshal, first earl of Pembroke, but was in emotional turmoil over his inability to get into character.

"I realized he simply just wanted to know what we were doing. So I started to talk to him about his character and he didn't realize his character was an actual historical figure of great importance," Crowe recalled.

"So I just started to go out to my trailer and bring him pages and pages of research, and things to think about and talk about. We had a 25- to 30-minute conversation in a car park."

The chat, said Crowe, was transformative: Hurt found his mojo and cast aside his worries to give one of his best performances and become an inspiration to the cast.

Crowe, a veteran of more than 40 movies, recounted this episode not to show off, but to demonstrate that teamwork is one of the most important aspects of the job.

Perhaps he was showing off a little.

The star was warming up toward the end of a roundtable interview to promote comedy-thriller "The Nice Guys," and appeared to be enjoying himself.

Crowe won a best actor Oscar in 2000 for "Gladiator" and followed it with a BAFTA and Golden Globe for his stunning portrayal of schizophrenic mathematician John Nash in "A Beautiful Mind."

'ILLITERATE PLONKER'

Still one of the most recognizable actors in the world, the famously short-tempered Hollywood A-lister cuts an intimidating figure, despite being polite and jovial.

Even at his fighting weight, the lifelong smoker is a stocky six-footer (1.8 meters) but now, aged 52, he doesn't look like he's paused at the salads and soups section of the menu for a good number of years.

Crowe has generated his fair share of negative headlines through a number of public altercations, and is famously sensitive about criticism.

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