Russell Crowe

Known for his journalist-hating, bad boy reputation, Russell Crowe, fresh from filming Robin Hood here in the UK, is on surprisingly good form. He chats to Gabrielle Donnelly about the joys and trials of parenthood. November

It’s hard doing press interviews,” Russell Crowe confided in me once. “You should just try and do it sometimes, be on my side of the table. Now, do I have anything against proper conversations? Absolutely not, I’ll talk till the proverbial cows come home if you like, particularly about something I love doing. But when you’re promoting a movie, you have to sit there for five weeks in a row and talk about the same stuff over and over again, and then if I try to make a joke about it, I get slagged off by people in terms of my perceived arrogance. I’m not really arrogant at all, if you want to know – I’m just trying to keep my sanity by keeping a sense of humour!”

A further irony is that, if Russell had chosen to become a journalist he probably would have been excellent at it. A watchful, highly intelligent man who does not suffer fools gladly and has never quite understood why he should be expected to pretend to, he stands out in Hollywood circles like a prickly Australian cactus among a field of buttercups. But then Russell Crowe is not, has never been, and never intends to be, a part of the world of Hollywood.

“I don’t live here!” he says, shuddering a little at the thought as he gazes around the elegantly appointed hotel room where we meet during a rare visit of his to Los Angeles. “I come here sometimes to do a bit of work, meet the people I’m going to be working with on my next project and stuff like that, but after I’ve done my work, I go back home to Australia. My work takes me to Hollywood, but I regard it as my office, and I don’t think it’s healthy to sleep at the office. And I think that in itself creates a bit of mistrust or whatever in people here in Los Angeles, because there is this attitude that I maybe should be here all the time, but the fact is that I don’t want to buy completely into everything that comes with this job.

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