So - Day 16 was supposed to be "A celebrity I’m swooning over" so I'm going to talk about Russell Crowe.
I've been a fan for a while now. Funny thing is that I saw a piece in Entertainment Weekly about "L.A. Confidential" (LAC) before it came out (1998?) – the fact that both the leads in this very American movie were Aussies – and I distinctly remember saying to myself, "Russell Crowe: he's amazing!" But for the life of me, I can't figure out what I'd seen him in prior to that movie. (And trust me, I've seen all of his older movies by now!)
Anyway – he was fantastic as Bud White in LAC. He was supposed to play this huge burly cop with a heart of gold, but he really wasn't all that big, so he rented a teeny apartment to make himself feel bigger – and he just filled the screen in the movie. And you couldn't help but feel for him when he goes back to Lynn and asks "Why me?" I was intrigued by this guy.
A few months later, I saw a trailer for a movie that captured my imagination: a guy skating down a river and funny stuff happening and then I heard that voice... So, it starred that Russell Crowe guy, along with a bunch of other fun actors. When "Mystery, Alaska" came out, I caught a matinee and laughed my ass off. It's a very silly, fun, romantic, hockey movie for adults, and I loved it! And Mr. Crowe looked nothing, and I mean NOTHING like that guy in LAC!
And then "The Insider" came out. I was already intruiged by this actor, but this is the movie that made me a fan. His performance was absolutely brilliant, and once again, he looked completely different from either of the characters he'd played in the past two movies. He was nominated for an Academy Award and IMHO, he should've won.
I started looking him up on the Internets and found out that he was a year younger than me, single, and really quite handsome. I remember getting the Oscar issue of Entertainment Weekly which I started paging through as I answered the phone one day. At that time, the Oscars were in March, so this issue came out around my birthday, and my friend Holly asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I turned the page to this:
And I said, "That! I want THAT!"
Strangely enough, Holly couldn't see what I was pointing at, probably because she was on the telephone in Philadelphia at the time, but…
I started looking out for his older movies (to figure out which one I had seen before LAC), and ran across "Romper Stomper" and "The Sum of Us" – two great, and extremely different, Australian movies. I learned about how invested he is in character development. I liked him: he's irreverent, does not suffer fools gladly, and he is extraordinarily talented. He's my age, he's intelligent and he's handsome. And he was single! It gave me hope. Not that I would ever meet him (although I joked that he wasn't married because he hadn't met me yet... it was a JOKE!!), but he gave me hope that there were single, intelligent, handsome guys my age out there – something I had pretty much given up on.
And then there was this ad after the Super Bowl that year: It was really simple, but beautifully done.
Ridley Scott directing Russell Crowe in the tale of the General who became a Slave, who became a Gladiator, who defied an Empire. Whaaaaa-haaaat? Visual master Ridley Scott who sometimes has problems with character development is teaming up with Russell Crowe, virtual master of character development? Ooooooooooo! Bouncy bouncy clap clap clap! I was a teenage girl all over again!
I waited four long months and then took the day off to watch the matinee show when "Gladiator" opened on May 5, 2000. I had already planned to see it on Saturday with a friend, and Sunday, I just HAD to go see it at the Uptown. And then I had to see it again during the week. And the Uptown again on the weekend. And so on and so on.
Around August of that year, I found a fan-site for SKG Dreamworks which had a Gladiator discussion forum. They had a room for each of the main stars, plus rooms for Roman History, discussions on the movie itself, and many other topics. I found a new family! And I've been chatting with many of the friends I met on that board, plus many other new friends, for the last ten years!
In the last ten years, I've gone to LA to watch the Oscars (on TV!), I've gone to TOFOG (his band) concerts in Austin (twice) and New York, and I've seen just about every one of his movies.
|I actually took this pic! I was sitting front row center. Awesome!|
Yes, Russell Crowe has some faults, just like any of us, but he still seems to be a regular guy, happily married to the love of his life (not me! I'm sure you're all surprised), father of two gorgeous boys, making plans for a new tour in 2011, and currently doing all the press for his latest movie "The Next Three Days", and enjoying himself on Twitter. He's still irreverent, he still has no use for fools, he's still handsome, and he is still amazingly talented.
Yep, I'm still obsotted!
p.s. All of these pics are courtesty of my friends at kaspinet