Over the last few years, Russell Crowe has accumulated quite a few war wounds due to the physical workload in his movies. “Let’s see. I’ve torn both Achilles tendons, I’ve suffered shin splints, my left thigh has degenerated, I’ve had two operations on my left shoulder, and I have occasional problems with my ribs and neck,” said Crowe, 46, who was in Japan recently to promote "Robin Hood," which opens in Japan on Dec 10.
Clearly showing a few extra kilograms, Crowe said he has allowed himself to relax for the past 12 months. “I like to shape my body for a role, but as I get older, that is getting harder to do. In my normal life, exercise is almost non-existent. I look forward to my next role as a warrior, so I can get focused on getting into shape again. For 'Robin Hood,' I spent six months learning archery and getting muscular enough to survive the long shoot day after day.”
"Robin Hood" marks Crowe’s 5th collaboration with director Ridley Scott. “I’ve heard people describe Ridley and myself as an old married couple. In many ways, we are -- we don’t hesitate to criticize each other; at other times, we understand what is required without saying anything. I think of Ridley as like a painter and I get to hold the paint. If he needs more blue, I try my best to give it to him.”
Lining up with Crowe in "Robin Hood" is Australian actress Cate Blanchett as Maid Marian. “She is an exceptional actress,” said Crowe. “A couple of years ago, Cate, Nicole Kidman, Geoffrey Rush and I were on a stage in Sydney being honored on postage stamps. I wondered why Cate and I had never worked together. So I asked the audience of 2,000 if they’d like to see us in a movie and there was a roar of approval. Two days later, by coincidence, the studio called Cate and asked her to be in 'Robin Hood.'”
Crowe, who was last in Japan in 2002, said he hoped Japanese audiences would enjoy the spectacle of "Robin Hood" and the messages it contains. “I’ve been a big fan of the mythology of Robin Hood since I was a kid, and there have been many movie versions, but I felt that none of them explained how this man came to be a resistance fighter, what makes him tick.”
Although Crowe has a reputation for being difficult with journalists, he was in an affable mood while in Tokyo. He certainly seems to have mellowed, which perhaps could be attributed to his becoming a family man. “Getting married and having children was the greatest thing to happen to me,” he said. “I knew my wife for 14 years before we married in 2003 and we now have two boys -- Charlie, 6, and Tennyson, 4. Having two young minds to refocus me is an enriching experience.”
Those two young minds will have an extra treat this Christmas. In a rare day off, the actor spent seven hours walking around Tokyo, until he ended up in Kiddy Land. “They’ll be getting some toys. All the instructions are in Japanese, so I hope they aren’t too hard for dad to assemble. It was such a treat for me to finally see Tokyo. Whenever I have been here in the past, all I saw was my hotel room and a few restaurants.”© Japan Today