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Interview with Russell Crowe
Article by FeatsPress

It's been quite a year for actor Russell Crowe. Twelve months ago he was Oscar nominated for his performance in Insider, The (1999), alongside Al Pacino, and then, just a couple of months later, Gladiator (2000) was released and rapidly won critical and mass acclaim as a blockbuster with brains turning Crowe into a genuine box office star in the process.
For the New Zealand born Australian raised 35 year old it has also meant a second Best Actor nomination. His portrayal as a 52 year old former tobacco executive who blows the whistle on the industry was a transformation which many believed deserved the Academy Award last year (he lost out to Kevin Spacey in American Beauty (1999)). We'll have to wait until late March to see if he wins this year for the highly fancied Roman epic.
In the meantime, Crowe - who has also starred in a host of Australian movies including Proof (1991), Romper Stomper (1992) and the Sum of Us, The (1994), as well as the critically praised L.A. Confidential (1997) - is back with the thriller Proof of Life (2000) with Meg Ryan. It was widely reported that the two stars were romantically linked off screen as well as on but have now gone their separate ways.


Crowe plays Terry Thorne, a former SAS kidnap and ransom expert who is called into negotiate the release of Peter Bowman, an American engineer who is kidnapped for a $3 million ransom. During the tense negotiations he becomes 'emotionally involved' with Bowman's beautiful wife Alice (Ryan). And although Thorne's first priority is for a negotiated release it becomes increasingly clear that he will have to undertake a dangerous mission to get him out alive.
Filmed on location in England, Poland and Ecuador, the shoot was long and gruelling and once again - as with Gladiator (2000) - was physically demanding of Crowe, a challenge he seems to particularly relish.

Filmed on location in England, Poland and Ecuador, the shoot was long and gruelling and once again - as with Gladiator (2000) - was physically demanding of Crowe, a challenge he seems to particularly relish.
Crowe was born in Auckland, New Zealand, the youngest of two boys. When he was a toddler his parents, Jocelyn and Alex, moved the family to Australia where they ran a location catering business. "I grew up around film sets and it stayed with me, I guess. My grandfather was a cinematographer so I'm the third generation to be involved in this business."
He first acted as a six year old in Australian television series called Spyforce and again, at 12, in another TV drama, The Young Doctors.. But soon afterwards his family returned to New Zealand and Crowe immersed himself in what was then a vibrant music scene in Auckland.
"I've been in bands for as long as I can remember. And I still am now. Some people say to me 'oh you're another actor who's trying to make music.' That's bullshit, I've been involved with music since I was a kid."
He returned to Australia in his early twenties and began acting again, mostly in the theatre, notably touring with a production of The Rocky Horror Show, and made his first movie, The Crossing, in 1990 which won him the Australian Film Institute's Best Actor award (he also won the AFI's best supporting actor the following year, for Proof, and made it three in a row in 1992 when he was Best Actor again, for the controversial Romper Stomper playing the leader of a gang of Melbourne skinheads.) And despite his denials that he can leave a role behind at the end of the day, he does admit that with Romper Stomper -and indeed others - he became completely immersed in the job.




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