Born in New Zealand, Russell has made his home in Australia since he was a small child. The son of movie set caterers, Russell got the acting bug early in life. Beginning as a child star on a local Australian TV show, Russell's first big break came with two films ... the first, Romper Stomper (1992), gained him a name throughout the film community in Australia and the neighboring countries. The second, The Sum of Us (1994), helped put him on the American map, so to speak. Sharon Stone heard of him from Romper Stomper (1992) and wanted him for her film, The Quick and the Dead (1995). But filming on The Sum of Us (1994) had already begun. Sharon is reported to have held up shooting until she had her gunslinger-Crowe, for her film. With The Quick and the Dead (1995) under his belt as his first American film, the second was offered to him soon after. Virtuosity (1995), starring Denzel Washington, put Russell in the body of a Virtual Serial Killer, Sid6.7 ... a role unlike any he had played so far. Virtuosity (1995), a Sci-Fi extravaganza, was a fun film and, again, opened the door to even more American offers. L.A. Confidential (1997), Russell's third American film, brought him the US fame and attention that his fans have felt he deserved all along. Missing the Oscar nod this time around, he didn't seem deterred and signed to do his first film with The Walt Disney Company, Mystery, Alaska (1999). He has recently achieved even more success and awards for his performances in Gladiator (2000) and A Beautiful Mind (2001).IMDb Mini Biography By: Gustaf Molin <email@example.com>
|Danielle Spencer||(7 April 2003 - present) (separated) 2 children|
Gravelly, smoke-burnished voice
Frequently plays exceptionally talented or smart individuals
Often plays characters based on real individuals
Frequently plays fathers or family who have usually suffered a loss
Lost his front tooth playing rugby when he was ten. Never got it fixed until, at the insistence of the director for The Crossing (1990), who paid for it out of his own pocket.
First lead role when he was 25.
Tried a music career as a rockabilly singer sporting a large pompadour hairdo, playing under the name Russ Le Roq. Titled his first single "I Want to Be Like Marlon Brando". Later admitted that he had never even seen a Brando movie when he wrote and recorded the song.
After filming Gladiator (2000), he and some friends took a 4,000 mile motorcycle trip around Australia.
Owns a 560-acre farm in 7.5 hours North-West from Sydney.
Dropped out of high school.
Russell's rock group is named 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. They played their first US concert following Russell's success in Gladiator (2000) in Austin, Texas in August 2000. The tickets for the concert were selling for over $500 on e-bay.com.
Has starred in three films based on articles from Vanity Fair magazine. The Insider (1999) was based on a story by Marie Brenner named "The Man Who Knew Too Much". Proof of Life (2000) was based on the article "Adventures in the Ransom Trade" by William Prochnau. A Beautiful Mind (2001) was originally published in Vanity Fair as an excerpt of Sylvia Nasar 's book about John Forbes Nash.
Turned down the role of Logan/Wolverine in X-Men (2000).
He and his band, 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts, performed on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (1992). [16 August 2001]
Proudly displayed his grandfather's British Honours medal (MBE) while making his Oscar Winner speech in 2001.
Has indicated an interest in taking out Australian citizenship due to the amount of time and energy he spends Down Under (keeping his New Zealand citizenship as well).
Although his surname is of Irish or English extraction, he lists his background as "Norwegian and Maori."
When Crowe's acceptance speech for his Best Actor award during the British Film Awards was edited, Crowe shoved the producer of the show, Malcolm Gerrie, against a wall and cursed at him, telling him: "Who on Earth had the ... audacity to take out the best actor's poem? I'll make sure you never work in Hollywood". He later issued a full apology.
His grandfather was from Wrexham, Wales
Ranked #28 in Premiere's 2002 annual Power 100 List.
Following his involvement in a brawl in a London restaurant, Russell stated that he was under a lot of stress and announced that he was going back to Australia to relax and spend more time with his father and his long-time girlfriend singer, Danielle Spencer. [November 2002]
Discovered by British actor and musical director/writer Daniel Abineri, who gave Crowe his first professional acting role in a New Zealand tour of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show.' Abineri later awarded Crowe the title role in his first stage musical, 'Bad Boy Johnny and the Prophets of Doom,' which premiered in Melbourne in 1989.
Ranked #30 in Premiere's 2003 annual Power 100 List.
Met spouse, Danielle Spencer in 1989 when they co-starred in the 1990 film, The Crossing (1990). Their co-star of the film, Robert Mammone (The Matrix Reloaded (2003), The Matrix Revolutions (2003)), was one of Crowe's groomsmen at their wedding.
Son-in-law of actor Don Spencer.
Took violin lessons in preparing for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) because his character, Jack Aubrey, played the violin several times during the movie.
First child with Danielle Spencer, a boy named Charles Spencer Crowe, born in Sydney (21 December 2003).
He wrote a song about Jodie Foster called "Other Ways of Speaking" with his band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts.
Jodie Foster considers him a very good friend.
Plans to donate his brain to medical science when he dies.
29 January 2004 - Dislocated his shoulder while training for his upcoming boxing movie, Cinderella Man (2005). The injury delayed filming for two months.
On 7 June 2006, he formed a partnership with Australian businessman Peter Holmes a Court to buy a controlling stake in his favorite sports team, the Australian NRL team South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Was accepted into the prestigious drama school, The National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), in Sydney.
Ranked #97 on VH1's 100 Hottest Hotties
Premiere Magazine ranked him as #49 on a list of the Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature (2005).
Once he was cast as Bud White in L.A. Confidential (1997), he read in the book that his character was the largest cop on the police force, off-putting for him due to his medium-sized frame (just under 6 feet). To capture a "big guy" presence, Crowe lived in a tiny flat in which he could barely fit through any of the doors. This experience, he said, made him come to the set feeling like a giant.
Is an avid supporter of the AFL team Richmond Tigers.
His former band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, used to cover a song by Newfoundland band, "Great Big Sea". While filming Cinderella Man (2005) in Toronto, Russell Crowe met Alan Doyle, lead singer of "Great Big Sea". The two ended up composing several songs together, working in Toronto and Australia, and Doyle produced Crowe's 2005 album My Hand, My Heart.
When his wife was pregnant with his first child Charles, he gave up drinking alcohol with her.
He attended Vaucluse Public School in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney for part of his Infants and Primary Education in the 1970s.
Formed a new band, named "The Ordinary Fear of God"
His performance as Jeffrey Wigand in The Insider (1999) is ranked #23 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
A Beautiful Mind (2001) is ranked #93 on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time (2006).
His wife Danielle gave birth to his second boy, Tennyson Spencer Crowe, on 7 July 2006 at 7:27am (AEST). The baby weighs 3.6 kg and was born at the Sydney Royal North Shore Hospital.
Despite liking the script very much, turned down About a Boy (2002).
Turned down the role of "Aragorn" in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy since filming on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) would coincide with Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind (2001). However, Crowe really loved the idea of filming a movie in his home country, New Zealand, for an extended amount of time.
Turned down the role of Sgt. Norm 'Hoot' Hooten in Black Hawk Down (2001) due to scheduling conflicts.
Lives in a penthouse on Woollomoollo Wharf in Sydney, the Penthouse was reportedly sold to Crowe and wife Danielle Spencer for over $13.75 million.
Is a close friend of Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Lobbied Californian Govener Arnold Schwarzenegger against executing Stanley "Tookie" Williams. (December 2005).
The role of James J. Braddock (Cinderella Man (2005)) is his personal favorite.
Nearly finalized a deal to reunite with director Michael Mann on Collateral (2004), but scheduling conflicts with "Eucalyptus", a doomed film project, prevented him from taking the role, which later went to Tom Cruise.
Two opportunities of working with fellow Australian and good friend, Nicole Kidman, have fallen through. In 2005, they were set to star in Jocelyn Moorhouse's "Eucalyptus," which fell through due to disputes over the screenplay. And in 2006, Crowe dropped out of Australia (2008), Baz Luhrmann's long- gestating romantic Outback epic, due to a disagreement over a cut in Crowe's salary.
Was considered for the role of Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and its ensuing sequels.
His earnings in 2001 were estimated at $15.4 million by "Business Review Weekly".
Starred in 5 movies in 7 years (1997-2003) which ended up being nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture. (L.A. Confidential (1997), The Insider (1999), Gladiator (2000), A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)). Gladiator (2000) and A Beautiful Mind (2001) won. A similar achievement was done by William Hurt in the 80s, he starred in 5 movies nominated for Best Picture in only 6 years between 1983 and 1988 but none of them won.
Was slated to star alongside Nicole Kidman in the movie adaptation of Murray Bail's novel "Eucalyptus", but this project was dropped.
Initially turned down L.A. Confidential (1997) because he doubted whether he could convincingly play such a tough character.
Big fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL.
Friends with University of Michigan head football coach Lloyd Carr.
Is a fan of English Football side Leeds United AFC.
According to Forbes, his movies averaged $5 of gross income for every dollar the actor got paid, making him the most overpaid celebrity in the business (December 2007).
Crowe's maternal grandfather, Stan Wemyss, was a cinematographer who, according to Crowe, produced the first film by New Zealander Geoff Murphy and was also named an MBE for filming footage of World War II. Crowe's maternal great-great-great grandmother was MÄori and as a result Crowe is registered on the Maori electoral roll in New Zealand; Crowe also has Norwegian, Irish and British ancestry.
Gained 63 pounds for his role in Body of Lies (2008).
He was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal in the 2001 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to Australian society and Australian film production.
Was the original choice for the role of Stonewall Jackson in Ron Maxwell's Civil War epic Gods and Generals (2003). Crowe was interested at first but later dropped out. The role went to Stephen Lang instead.
Quit smoking for the sake of his newborn children, but subsequently relapsed.
"One of the most painful things of the L.A. Confidential (1997) character I played was that the author, James Ellroy, kept telling me that Bud White wasn't a drinker. I said, 'come on, this is 1953. He's a blue-collar bloke, a cop. You're telling me he doesn't sit around with the boys after his shift and have a beer?' And Ellroy says, 'absolutely not'. So for five months and seven days, I didn't have a drink. It's probably the most painful period of my life".
[on winning the Best Actor Oscar] "If you grow up in the suburbs of anywhere, a dream like this seems kind of vaguely ludicrous and completely unattainable. But this moment is directly connected to those imaginings. And for anybody who's on the downside of advantage, and relying purely on courage, it's possible."
"It's not really what I'd call a movie. I was stunned that Miramax wanted to buy it. I mean it's really rude. It showed me in a really bad light. It's also shoddily made. It's cobbled together." -- expressing surprise that a low-budget documentary of his band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, has been picked up for worldwide distribution.
"I felt this tap on my shoulder and I turned around and, you know that De Niro fellow? Well, he didn't say a word. He didn't say 'Hello', 'Good evening' or anything or 'Hi, I'm Robert'. He just looked at me and he nodded his head and he smiled. And he walked off." - About meeting Robert De Niro.
You don't have to like an actor to do a scene with him. You don't have to like a director. But it's just better if you do. And I think, you know, you've got to begin that with respect.
All that stuff, this public persona of me - let's call him 'the wild man' - that is not helpful. It doesn't make me more of a box office draw. It's the quality of my work that makes people want to go to my films.
I always say I've given 24 insufficient performances and I'm looking forward to the time in my life when I'll do something that I think is good. There's always stuff you can do better, stuff that maybe you didn't uncover enough. But if you do something that you truly believe is perfect, then that's got to be the last movie you do.
I'd like to play passionate women, but no one will let me.
If there's anything about someone's life that's important enough to make a movie about it, I have to take responsibility to get all of it right. It's a huge responsibility.
The older I get, the crotchetier I'm going to get about that integrity. I don't think, just because you have the public's attention, it's now a prerequisite for you to completely sell out your moral center. I don't think that's OK. If I ever stop being the guy that can answer your question straight and look you in the eye and give you my opinion, then I should stop making films.
I'm still excited by it. I still love the process. I want to make movies that pierce people's hearts and touch them in some way, even if it's just for the night while they're in the cinema; in that moment, I want to bring actual tears to their eyes and goosebumps to their skin. That's what motivates me, and it may sound strange but if you're not focused on the audience, why are you bothering to make a movie?
He has disappointed me many times over the past ten years, with his performances in substandard movies. [About Robert De Niro]
When I arrived in Sydney, I spent 22 weeks in this $50-a-week place with just a bed, a cupboard and the toilet halfway down the corridor. For the first time my parents were some distance away. I did a lot of thinking and realized I appreciated what my father had instilled in me. People think that because there is a dole there they should use it, and there are a lot of ways to misuse the system. I believe in singing for my supper. I'll never accept a grant because what I do should be able to be founded purely on free enterprise.
Mate, he did that to himself. I have little time for the Oliver Reeds of this business. I'm not pleased that he's gone. In fact, I never had a drink with Oliver, because I didn't want to encourage him. I'll go for long periods without a drink. When I'm on the farm by myself, it's not something I even think about. But I'm not afraid to have a beer in front of a studio executive. That doesn't make me a wild man. [About Oliver Reed]
I'm at the bottom of a well. I can't communicate how dark my life is right now. I'm in a lot of trouble. I'll do my best to solve the situation in an honorable way. I'm very sorry for my actions. I will spend the rest of my life if it takes it, trying to make it up with my wife. I'm pleased that my son isn't able to compute what's going on at the moment because that would be a heartbreaking thing. One thing that I don't want to do is imply that I'm trying to make out it's somebody else's fault It's not, I know it's my fault, I've got to face up to it and deal with it. I'm not trying to be pessimistic, I'm just looking at what the situation is - it's a seven-year jail sentence.
After The Insider (1999), I know the exact chemical compounds in a commercial cigarette, but I've been smoking since I was 10. I know it's terrible, but I am a great fan of irony.
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.
I had a good laugh when Clooney tried to compare doing ads for suits, a car and a drink to what I do as a musician. An endorsement is about money. My music is from the heart.
I do my bit to improve the world but I think it's very important to get things done on the quiet. I'm sick to death of famous people standing up and using their celebrity to promote a cause. If I see a particular need, I do try to help. But there's a lot that can be achieved by putting a cheque in the right place and shutting up about it.
I don't do ads for suits in Spain like George Clooney or cigarettes in Japan like Harrison Ford. And on one level, people go, 'Well, more fault to you, mate, because there's free money to be handed out.' But to me it's kind of sacrilegious - it's a complete contradiction of the f**king social contract you have with your audience. I mean, Robert De Niro's advertising "American Express". Gee whiz, it's not the first time he's disappointed me. It's been happening for a while now.
I'd move to Los Angeles if Australia and New Zealand were swallowed up by a huge tidal wave, if there was a bubonic plague in England, and if the continent of Africa disappeared from some Martian attack.
Dani was three weeks early last time, she gave birth just a few days after she was chased down the street by four photographers. Nobody cares, particularly the photographers, nobody cares to focus on what that is. She was just walking down the street with her girlfriend and they rushed her - four of them all surrounded her. So she panicked and slipped and all this sort of stuff. If I'd been there that would have been a really serious situation. I tell you right now, they will be tarred and feathered if they hassle my pregnant wife again.
Well if what I've heard about it is fair dinkum that he spent $25 million making a movie that's shot in Aramaic and Latin and he's intending to release it without subtitles, I think he's got to get off the glue. What's the point of making a movie where people can't understand what's going on? I don't understand that. If you want it for reality or whatever, I think, 'Wow, what an amazing idea,' but also what a waste of time if nobody can get what the point is. Well, if we know the story, if we know it that well, why did he bother making it again? Mr Gibson, get off the glue! - On The Passion of the Christ (2004).
I'm a virtuoso in my job in that there's not an actor I can't go into a scene with and be absolutely confident that, whatever is required of my character, I can do it.
I just didn't want to work on that movie in the type of environment that was being created because of the needs of the budget. I do charity work, but I don't do charity work for major studios.
[on turning down the role of Morpheus in The Matrix (1999)] Well, "The Matrix" - I just didn't get it. I couldn't get past page 42. That world was just not interesting to me.
With "Lord of the Rings", if I did that I couldn't have done "A Beautiful Mind", and I just had to do "A Beautiful Mind". You can't do it all, and the people who try to usually end up not being able to focus at a certain level after a while. I mean, if I'm going to drink a bottle of wine, I drink a really good bottle of wine. [regarding his selectivity of his next film]
I respond to the call that says, "It's 185 A.D. You're a Roman general. You're being directed by Ridley Scott. That's something my imagination can get a hold of. [on what attracts him to prospective films]
In wars, no one wins, everyone loses. There are no heroes, there's only dead people. Movies can really change things and ... it becomes an educational process and I think that's the healthiest way of attacking anything. That's what I'm looking for.
[on an upcoming remake of the Robin Hood story] If you go back into the mythology, you get Robin the Beheader, who would chop off your head and your hands, take your money and keep it. So we'll have a look at that.
He was a gentle, beautiful man, a fine actor, a loyal friend. I feel deeply for his family - on the passing of friend and fellow actor, Heath Ledger.
[on spirituality] I think there's a karmic cycle, which is very, very obvious: you run around acting like a dick, and you get your ass kicked. The world just works that way.
People might say I'm uncompromising but really I am just a very straight-shooting man. If you look me in the eye and shake my hand I expect you to keep your end of the f***ing bargain. I do. It's simple.
[on theatre] Every now and then I get sort of romantic about it. But I've also got that cynical part of me where, when I read somebody saying, "I'm going back to the theatre. I'm going back to my roots," I'm like, "Oh, can't get a job, hey?"
[on studio demands for a sex scene in Gladiator (2000)] I'm sorry boys, but it doesn't suit the character. We can't be avenging the death of the wife and child, and stop for a bit of nookie along the way. I'm sorry, it's not gonna happen.
Do the maths - I have been smoking for 36 years, I would continuously lie to myself about how much I smoked. I was smoking 40 on an easy day, but on a day when I would be up at 4am and still up at midnight, then it was 60-plus and it just got to the point where my body was telling me I had to stop. (July 2010)
[1997, on L.A. Confidential (1997)] You go into these movies to play an American, you know. That's part of the fun of it for me. I can be an Australian in Australian films.
[1997, on perfecting accents] I was too kind of brave and proud to want a dialect coach because I thought that showed weakness in my armor. But then you just learn it's a more efficient way of doing it. A dialect coach is really important because it takes a certain technical responsibility off your shoulders. Otherwise, it would be very disruptive, because you've got to focus on the internal life of the character. The language is easy if you're not focusing on it, you know.
[on Oliver Reed] He drank himself to death. He sat on a bar stool until he fell off it and carried on drinking ... lying in his own piss and vomit, he continued to drink till he passed out. What did the tabloids say he drank on the day he died? Something like thirty beers, eight or ten dark rums and half a bottle of whiskey. In the end, he created such a weird energy around him that no one drinking with him cared.
[from his 2002 Oscar acceptance speech] When you grow up in the suburbs of anywhere, a dream like this seems kind of vaguely ludicrous and completely unattainable. But this moment is directly connected to those childhood imaginings. And for anybody who's on the downside of advantage and relying purely on courage, it's possible.
|Proof of Life (2000)||$7,500,000|
|A Beautiful Mind (2001)||$15,000,000|
|Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)||$20,000,000|
|Cinderella Man (2005)||$15,000,000|
|Robin Hood (2010)||$20,000,000|
(January 2009) Nana Glen, New South Wales, Australia
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