"Off the record, on the QT and very Hush-Hush" ______________________________________________
|| NEWS August 25, 2006
|| CALENDAR June 9, 2005
|| GOSSIP and RUMORS (Includes casting rumors)
|| RELATED NEWS December 18, 2004
|| SHOPPING Purchase Russell's films and CDs, books, novelties and more here! ||
Cinderella Man: The Shooting Script
The Cinderella Man (paperback)
Cinderella Man Soundtrack
Gladiator Extended Edition
The Cinderella Man
Buy the Double-sided poster
Buy now Other Ways of Speaking!
Buy now: Bastard Life or Clarity
12/6/05: Please note, we are still working to restore the site, so major news & updates will be posted only on the homepage at this time. Please hit refresh or reload to see the latest homepage update.
"Russell Crowe is going from the boxing ring to the vineyards of France.
"The actor is in discussions to star in Ridley Scottís next directorial effort, "A Good Year," for Fox 2000.
"Adapted from a Peter Mayle novel by Marc Klein (ìSerendipityî), "A Good Year" follows a London banker who moves to Provence after inheriting a vineyard. But when he arrives, he meets a California woman who claims that she owns the place.
"The film has a tentative September start date in Paris.
"If a deal is made, ìGood Yearî will be the second movie Scott and Crowe have made together; Scottís sword-and-sandal epic ìGladiatorî netted Crowe a best actor Oscar in 2001 and also won best picture."
BREAKING NEWS!!! Russell to perform live onstage in two shows next week in Australia!!! The shows will be small, so buy your tickets as soon as possible! Here are the details (Thanks to Bruno):
Russell Crowe and Alan Doyle will be doing a couple of shows in Australia with the band that recorded My Hand, My Heart.
Thursday 21st July at the Vanguard in Newtown.
Tickets can be purchased from the venue or via Moshtix at moshtix.com.au
There are only 160 tickets available as it is a very small intimate place, a restaurant, with tables and chairs.
42 King Street
Ph: +61 (0) 2 9557 7992
Saturday 23rd July is at the Plantation Hotel in Coffs Harbour.
Tickets are being pre-sold by Park Beach Music, Coffs Harbour Music, and direct from the Plantation Hotel.
The Plantation Hotel
88 Grafton Street (Pacific Hwy)
Coffs Harbour NSW 2450
PH: +61 (0) 2 6652 3855
6/16/05 Janine was kind enough to send in some photos that her friend M.T. took of Russell at the gig in Newfoundland. You can find them here!
6/14/05 (Third update throughout)
Better late than never! We've finally added the cover and photos from the Entertainment Weekly. (See news item 6/3) You can find them here.
Russell and Alan performed at a pub there Monday night. You can read about the show and see photos here! (Thanks to everyone who sent it in)
"I'm heartbroken over the 48% drop," said U distrib prexy Nikki Rocco. "We know the word of mouth is great and the playability this film could have. And we will still support the picture."
She couldn't pinpoint why "Cinderella Man" has failed to catch traction. "As a group we'll look at all the factors and then figure out our next steps," she said. (Thanks to Gloria)
"The rugby-style jacket, which has Roots printed on the left sleeve and also features the words 'Cinderella Man,' is not only a key item of Crowe's current wardrobe, but he also helped design it! With Roots leather man Karl Kowalewski. They worked on it together when the macho actor was in Toronto last year filming his most recent collaboration with Ron Howard. Not only that, but many of the crew who worked on the movie were gifted with one when the movie wrapped.
". . . Indeed, as far as Roots brand-building goes, it does make you kinda wonder: Who needs the Olympics when you've got the Gladiator? Furthermore, doesn't it put the ad in that old adage: any publicity is good publicity?"
"Round two of the verbal stoush between actor Max Baer Jr and director Ron Howard regarding the Russell Crowe flick Cinderella Man has been played out.
"Baer, son of the late boxer Max Baer Sr (Crowe's character Jim Braddock's real-life opponent in a world title fight), says he is willing to go a few rounds with Rusty, who is in Newfoundland, Canada, promoting the film and his latest album.
" 'He's got 30 years on me, but I'd box him three three-minute rounds,' " the former Beverly Hillbillies actor says.
"Baer had already voiced his disappointment at the portrayal of his father, but this week added that Howard and actor Craig Bierko's portrayal of his dad as a sadistic thug was 'dishonest.' "
6/12/05(second update today!) Sorry for the late notice on this one, but we hope some of our readers in the UK still have time to grab a copy or call their friends who may have one! Russell is on the cover of the of The Sunday Mail color section. The cover story includes an interview. (thanks to The Chedge) For those of you in the US, you might be able to pick up a copy at larger newstands that carry international newspapers, starting tomorrow. A good place to try is Borders or Barnes & Noble.
"Cinderella Man turns into a pumpkin as it falls 51.1% from last Friday. The Russell Crowe film should really have held better. Its fortunes may improve a little bit over the remainder of the weekend, but a decline in the range of 45% or so looks likely." You can read about how the other films fared here.
News.com.au speculates that Russell canceled his dinner at the White House last week to save President Bush from any "embarrassment." It also speculates about whether the alleged victim in the incident, Nestor Estrada, will actually testify against Russell or only seek a monetary settlement. The article: White House snubs Crowe.
Several Australian newspapers today had photos of the type of phone used in the incident. If you're curious, you can view it here.
Meanwhile, today's Sydney Sunday Telegraph offers praise to his wife, Danielle:
"HER hubby had a moment of phone rage in New York last week, but you've got to take your hat off to the unassuming Danielle Spencer. Despite wild claims that she demanded hubby Russell Crowe return home immediately, or that she was rushing to join him, Spencer remained grounded in Sydney, working on her next album, keeping her cool and getting on with life."
6/11/05 (Second update today!) Danielle speaks out in support of Russell. From the Sydney Morning Herald:
No excuses for my Russell
By Christine Sams
June 12, 2005
"Danielle Spencer has revealed the family heartbreak behind her long-distance relationship with actor Russell Crowe, but said there was no excuse for his behaviour inside a New York hotel.
Spencer, speaking for the first time since Crowe's arrest in the US earlier last week, said her husband was "very aware of where he went wrong".
"But I do understand when you're apart the loneliness kicks in and obviously the phone becomes of paramount importance," she said.
"This is where it's difficult, because I'm not condoning his behaviour. I don't want to make excuses for him, because I'm certainly not."
Spencer was alone in Sydney when she received a call from Crowe, telling her what had happened inside New York's Mercer hotel on Monday. Crowe had been arrested and charged with second degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon, for allegedly throwing a phone at hotel employee Nestor Estrada.
"I was in my car on my own when I got news of the whole thing," Spencer said. "Contrary to reports, I was not overheard in a restaurant saying, 'Oh no, not again'. That's absolute rubbish."
But there's no doubt Spencer was stunned and upset by the news, in a week where she was supposed to be solely focused on recording her new album in Sydney. (She is also looking after the couple's baby son Charlie while her husband promotes his film Cinderella Man overseas.)
But despite her shock at what happened, Spencer said Crowe "showed great courage" for appearing on the Late Show With David Letterman to explain his actions.
During the television appearance, Crowe described why he was desperate to phone Spencer in Sydney: "To fulfil my basic obligations to my wife, who needs to know that I'm at home, that I'm in bed, that I haven't had too much to drink and that - primely important - I am alone."
Spencer said yesterday her husband was telling the truth about the yearning between husband and wife when he was away from home.
"All I will say is, if you're a couple that has to spend long periods of time apart then the phone is the only means of communication, it becomes important. That's not to say I'm excusing the subsequent behaviour."
Despite being on the other side of the world from Crowe when she heard the news, Spencer said she did not beg her husband to return home immediately after his arrest. Instead, she urged him to continue promoting Cinderella Man.
"I didn't at any time say to him, 'Come home immediately'," she said. "The movie he has made is a wonderful film and I absolutely felt he should stay and fulfil his commitments to the film, as did Russell."
Spencer said she chose not to fly to the US to be with Crowe because of her own recording commitments.
"These plans have been in place for a long time," she said. "Russell's completely understanding of that."
A barman who served Crowe on the night he was arrested said Crowe was in good spirits and entertained the crowd with some of his songs.
New Zealander Steve Reid, 26, said Crowe was a regular at the Australian-themed Eight Mile Creek in Manhattan.
Last Sunday night he had come to the bar with Australian actor Heath Ledger [*] and, after having dinner, performed for a group of about 30 people, mostly playing original songs by his band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts.
"He wasn't drunk or anything while he was here, he had a quiet beer, had dinner and played some songs," Mr Reid said.
Crowe is expected to continue his promotional duties for Cinderella Man in the US this week, before returning home to Australia. (Thanks to The Chedge and P)
[* You can see a photo of Russell chatting with Heath Ledger taken back in 1999 at the AFI awards here. (Scroll). And for yet another trip down memory lane, you can see the results of an old poll we did several years ago which featured Russell and Heath here. (Scroll). Please note: our weekly poll has been gone for many years, so please ignore the "last week's results" at the top. The polls were written well before Russell was married.]
RUSSELL Crowe's performance on The David Letterman Show was a performance very much directed at one person -- his wife, Danielle.
His coach for the appearance was his mum, Jocelyn.
She held a telephone up to a TV monitor as the show was taped on Wednesday afternoon (New York time). That allowed Danielle to hear Crowe's plea for forgiveness many hours before it aired in Australia or even the US.
"Russell's mother is a no-nonsense lady, and she laid down the law to him and said he'd better get down and grovel publicly, and he'd better mean it," a Crowe insider said.
"She told him she was calling Danielle from the show's green room and would be letting her hear every word."
Much of Crowe's time was taken up talking about Danielle and how he'd let her down and how he needed her forgiveness.
Crowe seemed nervous when he returned from the set and spoke by phone to Danielle in Sydney.
Crowe has been under "parental arrest" in New York since the incident. His parents, Alex and Jocelyn, who had left the official tour party a week earlier, rejoined to take control of their wild son.
Crowe's public confessions may be more than just heartfelt and on strict instructions from mum.
PR experts see it as a tactical move to seek public favour before the CCTV footage of the telephone incident is made public.
The plan to cancel all media engagements was canned and Crowe was advised to be up front rather than wait until it would look like he was reacting to the violent images and trying to mop up the mess.
Here is one of the more positive articles: He's a bit of a lad and the fans love it. (Note: The article quotes us. The writer's term "Crowe-endorsed" we are assuming refers to him linking to us on his sites, and recommending us a few years ago which when he did, made us extremely happy!. We are not an official site and do not work for him.)
So just a warning to fans who don't like to read anything negative about Russell, you might want to skip down to the last three items.
From The Courier Mail: "Odd Fits of Grunt" and from The Daily Telegraph: "Flawed Brawler Just Falls Further" both here.
The Independent today has a lengthy profile of Russell: Russell Crowe: Hollywood's own tempest
Today's Herald Sun has a rather harsh editorial on The Man: Rusty the Clown
If you missed Russell on Hardball, click here and scroll.. Crowe Plays Hardball.
Margot writes in that you can also view video from it here. ("Click on 'News-Weather,' then 'Comment-Analysis.' The title of the video is 'Crowe Confesses.' Click 'Play' on this selection. Or, enter 'Crowe' in the video search and click on the arrow. This will take you directly to the most recent video content on Russell. The 'Hardball' interview will be the first thing you see."
6/9/05 (More added!)
From the Associated Press: Stars Use Late-Night TV for Damage Control
Russell appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman " last night and apologized for his actions that led to his arrest Monday on felony charges in New York City. You can read a report on the show at the San Jose Mercury News, via the Associated Press: Crowe apologizes for throwing telephone
TV Alert reminder: Russell is on The Ellen DeGeneres Show today! (Show taped 5/25.) It is his first time appearing on the show. He is also scheduled to be on Late Night with David Letterman tonight. A new alert! Russell will be on Hardball with Chris Matthews (MSNBC) on June 9th. Show airs 7-8 p.m. (ET). (Thanks to Margot) and another reminder, he'll be on Late Night With Conan O'Brien on June 10th.
Russell's arrest and arraignment in New York City yesterday dominated entertainment headlines, along with Michael Jackson's trial, and will probably continue to today. We've added photos of his arrest and the court sketch here.
You can view video here. (Thanks to Margot)
TheSmokingGun.com has the criminal court document here. (Thanks to Gloria)
The arrest is a big story in New York City's newspapers. Today's New York Times has a comprehensive article (including information on the alleged victim): Russell Crowe Accused of Assault With Hotel Phone.
Meanwhile, Russell made the front pages of both the New York Post ("Crowe Caged after Rage") and the New York Daily News ("Jerkus Maximus"). View the Post front page here (click on image of back page), and the Daily News' here (click link on the left).
Also, New York Newsday assesses the legal proceedings: A case of celebrity favoritism?
From today's The Australian: Rusty the clown
From today's Sydney Morning Herald: 'Remorseful' Russell's woe.
From the Daily Telegraph: Crowe Friend Shock at Arrest.
From Cinematical.com: Russell Crowe Roams The Streets
From the Melbourne Herald Sun: Crowe offered consular assistance.
NEWS FLASH!!!(Second update today!)
Russell Crowe appears in court
"Actor arrested on charges related to phone-throwing incident
("Actor Russell Crowe is taken in handcuffs from a lower Manhattan police precint in New York.")
"NEW YORK (CNN) -- Actor Russell Crowe was arraigned Monday afternoon in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges of second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly throwing a hotel telephone that struck a hotel employee in the face.
According to the criminal complaint accompanying the charges, Crowe admitted to the arresting police officer that he picked up the phone and threw it at the Mercer Hotel concierge "because he was angry," the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said.
NYPD Sgt. Michael Wysokowski earlier told CNN that Crowe "was upset because he couldn't get a call out to Australia."
Police said the victim was transported to St. Vincent's Hospital. Crowe was booked into the First Precinct and later escorted out, wearing handcuffs and sunglasses, for his arraignment.
His next court appearance was set for September 14, the D.A.'s office said.
"This arose because he was trying to get his wife on the phone in Australia. He was in his room. He couldn't get a line and there was a disagreement," Crowe's lawyer, Gerald Lefcourt, told reporters earlier outside the police precinct where Crowe was booked, according to The Associated Press.
Universal Studios -- which released Crowe's latest film, "Cinderella Man" -- said it had "no comment" on the incident.
CNN has been unable, so far, to reach the actor's publicist, Robin Baum.
Crowe was in New York promoting "Cinderella Man," a biopic based on the life of world heavyweight champ James J. Braddock, which opened in theaters last weekend.
According to Nielsen the movie ranked fourth place in theaters and grossed $18.6 million.
Crowe won an Oscar for Best Actor in 2001 for his movie "Gladiator."
Magazine alert! Russell and Renee Zellweger are on the cover of the new Entertainment Weekly! The magazine is on sale starting this weekend. We don't have the photos yet, but you can read the full article and EW's review of the film on our new Cinderella Man: In Print Page 4. Click here!
The New York Times: Roll the Fairy Tale, Fade to the Fists
Toronto Globe and Mail: It Coulda been a contender
Roger Ebert's review at the Chicago Sun-Times: Good guy packs strong punch
The Seattle Times: Crowe nails role as unexpected hero
The Boston Globe: 'Cinderella Man' is a raging bull, all right
Russell will be on CNN Headline News' "Showbiz Tonight" TONIGHT at 7 and 11 p.m. Eastern time!! (Check local listings.)
6/1/05 (Second update today!)
TV alerts! Russell is all over American TV this week and next! You can see him Wednesday morning (today) on ABC's "Good Morning America" (subject to change if there is breaking news) and "Live with Regis and Kelly." Also on Wednesday, Russell will be joined by Ron Howard and Paul Giamatti on the The Charlie Rose Show. (Show usually repeats the following day.) The Biography Channel will air "Famous," a 30-minute look at his career, tonight. On June 2nd, he'll be on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central). The E! cable channel's "Behind the Scenes" featuring Cinderella Man premieres this Thursday morning, and A&E's "MovieReal" examines the movie Thursday evening. Plus, look for Russell on both "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "Late Night with David Letterman" next Wednesday, June 8! (See our Calendar.) As always, check local listings for times.
It's finally here! Variety reports the details of the new Gladiator Extended Edition, out August 23!
"DreamWorks Home Entertainment is readying an extras-packed 'expanded' edition DVD of 'Gladiator' that will include 17 minutes of additional footage cut back into the film as well as star Russell Crowe's first-ever DVD commentary.
". . . Crowe's portrayal of the betrayed Roman general Maximus won him a best actor Oscar. His commentary on 'Gladiator' is being taped this week in Los Angeles.
The new 'Gladiator' DVD, to be released on the film's fifth anniversary, also includes such special features as Scott's storyboard sketches, a feature-length documentary on how the filmmakers had to scramble to digitally salvage Oliver Reed's final performance as Proximo after the actor died during filming and interviews with filmmakers detailing the story's historical origins and its transition from script to screen."
Preorder the new Gladiator Extended Edition here!
5/25/05 (Second update today! Scroll)
TV reminder: Russell will be on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" TONIGHT!! The show starts at 11:35 p.m. Eastern. (Anyone out there willing to transcribe the show for this site?)
If you miss the show tonight for any reason, be sure to check your late-night local listings NEXT Wednesday, June 1 -- NBC repeats Leno's show in some cities around 2:05 a.m. the week after the original broadcast.
From the Age: Crowe's film goes to ball
From MSNBC: Crowe hopes Ôø*CinderellaÔø* charms audiences
The Daily Telegraph: Fairytale starts for Crowe Oscar hopes
Ôø* 'I was covered in RussellÔø*s spit and sweat constantly, day in and day out,' the actor says, laughing. 'Almost immediately, when I first met him, Russell would go and box in the ring and work on the choreography for the fights. So right away I was holding spit-covered mouthpieces and getting his sweat all over me.
Ôø* 'We got intimate in that way pretty fast.' "
Giamatti goes on to discuss working with Russell and rumors that he's difficult on the set:
Ôø* 'I have to say that IÔø*m not a particularly tabloid-savvy guy,' Giamatti says, 'so I went into it not knowing a whole hell of a lot anyway about him, that he was a difficult guy. From an actorÔø*s standpoint he was fantastic. He was incredibly kind to me and open and generous, and we had a really fun time working together.
Ôø* 'You know, he is a moody guy,' the actor adds. 'He is self-confessedly a moody guy, and part of that is that he really puts himself into these things. He was getting the crap kicked out of him during this movie. It was physically incredibly hard on him.
Ôø* 'HeÔø*s a prickly guy, but he was never unpleasant to me,' Giamatti concludes. 'I had a great time working with him.' "
TV Alert! June 10: Russell to appear on Late Night With Conan O'Brien (US NBC).
Russell's official site myhandmyheart.com should be updated later today, hopefully by the time you read this. The new items will include a revamped photo gallery. There will also be a new page where we fans can vote on options for the new cd cover, as well as future downloads! (Thanks to Bruno.)
HBO's "First Look" at Cinderella Man will premiere on the cable channel May 19. It will repeat throughout the month. As always, check local listings for times. Or go to HBO's site http://www.hbo.com to find it in your time zone.
Pamela writes in; "Saturday (May 21) will begin USA broadcasts of an early review of CM on 'Ebert & Roeper.'" also, "''E! Behind the Scenes' [(US) starts] June 2." (Check local listings for times and dates in your area.)
To coincide with its release, Russell's official site myhandmyheart.com will be updated with the lyrics, background stories, photos, video footage and more. The updates should posted by the time you read this, but if not keep checking. (Thanks to Bruno)
Russell announced during promotion work for his new solo music projects that iTunes will launch in Australia this week. The announcement caught some by surprise. From the Sydney Morning Herald: iTunes music store set to open. (Registration is free.)
4/23/05 Update on news item dated 4/18. We are glad to now present Russell's side of the story.
In an e-mail to us, Russell has addressed the comments made by former band mate Garth Adam. (See items 4/18 and 4/21).
Back in 2003, Russell had hinted to us that the Chicago shows would be the last. (Only his personal comments to us have been left off the following.)
In an e-mail, Russell has addressed the comments made by former band mate Garth Adam. (See items 4/18 and 4/21).
Back in 2003, Russell had hinted to us that the Chicago shows would be the last.
". . . No announcements were made; we still had two months of shows to do back in Australia.
It's not something that any of us want to announce as such, mainly because who knows what will happen over time.
My reference to dissolve/evolve is the way the band has always worked.
I'm writing songs,no surprise, these ones have been recorded in this way with these people, where is the crime?
What is the difference between me doing this and Garth doing Ether, or Stewie's Cracksquad, or Wilko's DWB.
Garth was obviously trying to be glib and cool but instead the black and white of what he has said has been damaging.
The only reason Garth might not have been contacted regarding the cancellation of a proposed set of dates with the Pretenders in early 2003, is if he was uncontactable
-touring perhaps? He was .Changing mobile phones perhaps? He was.In another country? He was.
I gave Garth the opportunity to redress the damage. I think his apology is scant and clarifies nothing.
Garth was invited along with the rest of the band to at least 3 get togethers. For his own reasons he did not attend. It was in these get togethers that plans were made. This is how we do things.
5 of 7 members of TOFOG sing or play on this record.
He is purporting to speak on behalf of a group who as individuals do not agree with his contentions.
His comment "traveling musical holidays" smacks of arrogance, belittles fans and band members alike, especially denigrating to the song writers.
The community that plays on this record are the TOFOG members who care to play together at this time, and some new guys that share common ground.
Bones Hillman was on the door of the Liberty Stage one of the first bars I used to go to underage in Symonds St. Auckland.
Stuart Hunter is a long time mate of Stewart Kirwan and my doctors brother.
He is a brilliant pianist and i'm interested to hear people's reaction to a song we co-wrote,that became the title track of the album.
As Ive said, Ill write again with Billy when he is ready to. Its not TOFOG without Dean.
But I will continue to seek ways to write how I feel and what I see, that is in my nature.
Ive been very patient, please refer verse 2 The Night That Davey Hit The Train.
We've all been very happy with how Raewyn has been received.
There are so many stories on this album; I'm really looking forward to people hearing the whole thing. . . .
4/21/05 Garth Adam has issued a statement about that recent Sunday Telegraph article. Here's the letter in its entirety: (Thanks to Bruno)
"You may have read the recent article in the Sunday Telegraph dated 17 April 2005.
"I wish to state that the comments used in the article were taken out of context. They were part of a longer telephone interview which mainly discussed my experience as an Australian attending the recent SXSW Music Conference in Austin, Texas.
"My intention was at no time to tarnish the names of either TOFOG or Russell Crowe and I apologize if it has been taken this way.
"I wish Russell all the best for the future with his new album release.
In the meantime, one part of the interview where Russell discusses religion is making its way across the Internet and in papers. You can read the most recent, in today's Sydney Morning Herald, here. (Scroll to "Star Attractions")
We're sure Russell and Cinderella Man will be all over the media closer to the film's opening in June. Every summer there's at least one serious drama released to counter all the big action films and comedies. Last year, it was "The Notebook," and this year it's clearly Cinderella Man. Brace for lots of articles and TV features about the real-life Jim Braddock, too. We will of course keep you posted on them!
"Its tagline: 'Welcome to Uncyclopedia, the free encyclopedia of politically incorrect non-information.' So I had to check out if Russell was on it, and sure enough...." Click here to read what she found.
"Scott says the reason Gladiator connected with men and women was the Russell Crowe character's journey to reunite with his slain wife and son in the afterlife.
" 'The reason people related to Gladiator and the film worked was that it was told through (Crowe's) character, and audiences could relate to and root for that,' says critic Leonard Maltin. 'It wasn't a matter of embracing an epic film as embracing a story in an epic setting, a story of one man's adventure.'
You can read the full article here, where you can also vote on your own favorite film epic. (At the time of this update, Gladiator was second, behind Braveheart.)
4/18/05 The cat's out of the bag. Some troubling news that we learned earlier this month has now reached the newspapers. 30 Odd Foot of Grunts bass player Garth Adam revealed in the Sunday Telegraph that he and other Grunts members learned of the band's demise via the newspapers -- and not from Russell himself. You can read the article here: Crowe's Sour Note
We'd decided not to post the information before because we had hoped to get Russell to give us his side of the story to go with it. That however proved impossible because even after seven years of doing this site, we still have no way of contacting Russell directly or, at this point, apparently even indirectly. We'd still love to get Russell's response. (Hello...? Russell are you reading this?)
4/13/05 Magazine alert! The May issue of Premiere (U.S.) has a feature on Cinderella Man in its summer movie preview. Premiere predicts the film could earn $105 million and rank 10th on the list of summer's highest-grossing movies. ("Star Wars Episode III," of course, tops the magazine's forecast with $400 million.)
4/7/05: We'd like to wish Russell a very happy 41st birthday! And happy second anniversary to Russell and Danielle!
"When the volatile Crowe pulled the plug on Eucalyptus rumours circulated that Kidman was so angered by his crude treatment of director Jocelyn Moorhouse there seemed little hope we'd ever see the dream pairing.
"But, according to the 37-year-old Oscar winner, the failure of Eucalyptus has not jeopardised their relationship which goes back two decades.
" 'Russell and I have known each other for a long, long time. I've known him since I was 17 and something like this would never tear that friendship apart.'
" 'I have undergone a lot of stuff in my life and a lot of my friends have too. But I have never let anything damage the relationships that I value. And for me Russell is one of them.' "
The paper also mentioned that director Phillip Noyce hopes to Russellcast and Nicole in his adaptation of Tim Winton's novel "Dirt Music."
3/25/05Another message from Russell!
so as usual the media and some sad types have picked up on what I've written to you and turned it, but also as usual the vast majority of you get it and understand and thanks for all your positive feedback.and no matter what Bruno says,if you've got a question,ask him,or Ray for that matter. apart from the I-tunes stores,over time we will have information for you as to what service you will be able to use in Australia etc all the places you ask us about that I-tunes doesn't cover.
maybe I shouldn't write to you in this manner because it certainly gives lazy and petty people something to do with their days,however,all the other options are quite simply tainted.we don't demand anything of the sites we offer things like this too,they are independent and can post or not.for those of you asking for official corporate structures, for minute to minute minutiae and for things to never change or evolve,please go away.
my enthusiasm for these new songs is in no way meant to denigrate tofog or anyone who has played in the band or anyone I have written songs with.
I love the guys in tofog and have had some amazing experiences with them.
I have always written from the heart,but is it too hard to imagine that I might have always felt I was capable of more,as a composer ,as a lyricist;that I could simply do better.i thank all of you that have expressed love for certain songs and hope you find something in the new ones.
I took the advice of some well known colleagues and turned down the white noise that can come with a band with a 20 year history.and allowed myself in the studio to concentrate on the simple tasks of composition and singing,not being a den mother,designated driver,referee , father confessor or travel agent as my job in the band seems to include.
I wrote a song called raewyn with Alan Doyle in Toronto in June or July,he happened to have planned his honeymoon for nz and aust in Jan/Feb,we hooked up after he and his wife had a grand adventure, he was going to be around,eucalyptus fell over ,I had time and we both had the inclination,stories just started to pour out.after a couple of weeks of writing,we called some guys up to the farm,spent two weeks in the padded cell,popped down to the pub at coff's to try out some songs,lived and breathed recording 24/7 and here's a record.there is nothing sinister or strange,it was all in the moment.if you will recall I did say in my buried reply to the telegraph, after their coverage of the demise of eucalyptus became about vilifying me,that it would only serve to make me write more songs.once again,just telling it how it is.
if there is a strange thing about my friendship with Alan,it's that for two guys who spend most of our time together laughing and talking s**t,we write some serious stuff.
sensationalizing this is just pointless.
as usual the press are using phrases like "embarking on a solo career".no I'm not,I've just made a record,we will try very hard to set it up in a way you can get it without you having to resort to illegal means ,and if you'd like us too Alan Doyle and I ,and all the other guys who played on this record,would love to meet you in a venue somewhere and sing you some songs.
that is all it's ever been about.music is it's own reward.
but as I said I need to chat this through with dani and understand her plans with her new record and if any of this traveling can coincide because I can only go a certain amount of time without seeing my family,about 45 minutes apart and panic sets in.as I said we are doing a lot of talking about things and appreciate your input re towns and venues.would somebody go over to necie's place please and cheer her up.
April 19th. [Song released on iTunes]
Here's some more exciting music news -- in a special message from Russell himself!!
well you will be pleased to know it looks like I will release an album soon that doesn't have "what's her name?" on it.
what you possibly won't be pleased about,nor understand fully until you hear this record,is that tofog would seem to have dissolved/evolved.
while that holds certain disappointments,they pale in comparison to the joy of writing unrestricted,of talking from my heart and mind simultaneously about things that are important to me now,right now,in this time of my life,not when I was younger or dare I say it less world weary/wary,but now, as a 41 year old father/husband/lover/man.
the band on this record is Dave Kelly,Stewart Kirwan,pb Berton,Bones Hillman(bass) and Stuart Hunter(piano).it was produced by Alan Doyle and is being mixed by Nathaniel Kunkel.at this point in time,we are calling the record "My Hand,My Heart",as in what I have written comes from there.Ray thinks its too soft,but he hasn't heard the whole record yet,and quite frankly it is soft.gentle,expressive,thoughtful...soft.
the album touches on varying subjects,my beautiful wife,past relationships,my son,people I know,family tragedy,immigrant cane cutters,vilification,a choral requiem for a dead friend,my contribution to the genre of drinking songs(the title track,My Hand,My Heart),optimism,and perspective.it is without doubt the most satisfying record I've ever made,and I know when you hear it you will be seduced by its beauty.
on April 19th Raewynthe song mentioned in the gq article, will be released as an I-tunes single.we will begin to pursue a traditional release when we see how that goes and hear your reaction to the song.
our relationship with Artemis has not been a successful one,we need to find a champion in a company with wide distribution to simply make the record available.an individual or group of people who are as much in love with the music as I am.
if we don't feel a real connection is possible,we will go back to mail order,which I'm also happy with.bruno less so,because he has to lick the stamps.
the I-tunes release is an important first step to finding a home for this record .please be cool about giving up your two bucks and not file sharing.we'll take a straw poll on making the lyrics available prior to hearing the song,or simultaneously,let bruno know your feelings.
I've chosen to release this song first because it is the first song Alan Doyle and I wrote together and it is the only song I've ever written that has made both men and women cry,think,and call their parents .usually in that order.i have e-mails from sting and billy bragg,two of my song writing heroes that give testament to the quiet power of the song.
we will post those closer to the date of release,and when you read them I believe you will understand what a breathtaking validation they felt like to me.
this record is fresh,relavatory and graceful.
I know over time there have been a lot of fans who don't seem to understand that fitting the music in and around my day job is very tricky,and sometimes the expectation of formalized corporate structure for my music is just unreasonable.
for me,music is its' own reward .anyone else's enjoyment of it is purely an extension of the experience I've already had as a writer.i'm not out to foist my music on anyone,but i would like a clean and simple way for you guys to get it easy.maybe that is i-tunes?
I've taken the opportunity that the postponement of eucalyptus gave me and I've poured my heart into songs instead.Alan Doyle is the first magical music collaboration I have experienced,the type of synergy that I experience all the time with other actors or directors or screen writers like akiva goldsman has always eluded me in music,with only snatches of time spent in the white light of veracity in creation.writing painted veil comes to mind. there are 5 crowe/doyle songs on this record,5 examples of seamless,resonant, common ground collaboration.one of Alan's songs that tofog murdered regularly,is here in it's true to lyric state.Slaid Cleaves a young genius from Maine who I first heard in Austin Texas contributes a song as does legendary Canadian songsmith Paul Hyde.the title track was composed and recorded in the wee hours of the morning as songs of that genre should be by Stuart Hunter and myself. there is one self penned,a choral piece,written originally on a beer coaster in Dublin.
I'm typing and yawning,studio hours don't really suit me.i like waking before the dawn,not going to bed after it.yeah,call me a fuddy duddy,I don't care.you may have noticed,I've been called worse.
there is no real master plan for world domination,if you guys like the record we will do our best to tour in the summer.it's been too long I'm missing your crazy,obsessed faces.and here's another thing,I hope I get to hear you singing along to this stuff.we have the best sounding audience around.i am in negotiations with Dani and Charlie.by the way Dani is in the studio as we speak,i think they were doing bass tracks today.
wow,,just thinking of a summers night in Austin,a whole new world of music to play you,all these new stories to tell,the glisten of your laughter,your voices rising to meet the Texas moon,sweat pouring off my fingers...well,we will see huh? let bruno know if you want us to tour to your town.
Note: You can still reach Bruno through 30 Odd Foot of Grunts' official site, Gruntland, HERE. (Thanks to Ray)
3/19/05 Great news!!! This just in:
Russell's new single "Raewyn" will be available on iTunes on April 19!
"'Raewyn,' the first single off of Russell Crowe's new record will be released on April 19, 2005 as an Exclusive Download at the iTunes online music store (www.itunes.com).
"The single will be released on iTunes via the independent imprint Model 101 and at this stage in the project there is no deal in place for release of the 'Raewyn' single or upcoming Russell Crowe full length record in the traditional sense. The full length record is in the mixing stages now in Sydney, Australia.
"We are very excited about the 'Raewyn' single and the upcoming record. We ask that the single be purchased legally via iTunes and to please not partake in any illegal file sharing of music.
"More information to come and we can't wait for you to hear'Raewyn'!" (Thanks to Ray)
2/28/05 Russell seems to have a big fan in Chris Rock! In his opening monologue as host of the Academy Awards last night, the comedian quipped about how there are only four stars in movies today and the rest are "just popular people":
"If you can't get a star, wait. If you want Russell Crowe and all you can get is Colin Farrell, wait. It's not the same thing okay? Alexander's not GLADIATOR, okay? Ja Rule's not Tupac. You got that?
"I love Russell Crowe. Russell Crowe to me is one of the greatest actors in the world, okay? I think all period pieces should star Russell Crowe. Everything. If you're doing a movie about the past, you best to get Russell's ass. Okay? I don't care if you're making a movie about three weeks ago -- you need to get Russell Crowe. 'Cause Russell will do the research about three weeks ago. He'll cut his hair like three weeks ago. He will walk like three weeks ago. He will talk like three weeks ago. And you'll close your eyes and you'll listen and go, 'That sounds like three weeks ago!' If you can't get a star, wait."
We're hoping Chris will be there next year, because we fans know Russell will be!
2/2/05 Fox Searchlight Pictures yesterday released the details of filming for Eucalyptus in Australia beginning next week. The official release:
"Hollywood--Feb. 1, 2005--Fox Searchlight Pictures announced that production will begin February 7 on EUCALYPTUS, a sweepingly imaginative fairy tale about love and life in Australia, starring an Aussie cast led by Oscar(R) winners Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, and Australian Film Institute Award winners Jack Thompson and Hugo Weaving. Based on the New York Times Notable Book of the Year of the same name written by Murray Bail, the film will be directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse from a screenplay she penned. It is produced by Uberto Pasolini (THE FULL MONTY) and Lynda House (MURIELÔø*S WEDDING) and executive produced by Crowe.
"Said Russell Crowe of joining with the Australian filmmakers and cast: 'With the help of a few friends we envision this movie as a line in the sand, a statement of power through ensemble and therefore of greater impetus to the industry in general. Per capita, Australians and New Zealanders have made an enormous contribution to world cinema. We fight above our weight. This project will prove to our aspiring writers that an Australian director using Australian actors can use international funding to tell an Australian story.'
" 'I feel very lucky to be working with these extraordinary actors on such a uniquely Australian love story,' Director/Writer Jocelyn Moorhouse added. 'When I worked with Russell on PROOF, I was amazed by his powers as an actor and I canÔø*t wait to work with him again. Nicole has done brilliant work in overseas movies these last few years and IÔø*m looking forward to working with her in a beautiful Australian setting.'
"In a world where life and love are fragile, a widower named Holland (Jack Thompson) plants hundreds of eucalyptuses as a memorial to his wife. Living in this man-made forest, hidden away from prying eyes, is HollandÔø*s beautiful and mysterious daughter Ellen (Nicole Kidman). Over the years, men have tried to woo Ellen, to no avail. One day, Holland realizes he can no longer keep Ellen hidden, and devises a seemingly impossible competition -- the man who can name all 800 eucalyptuses on HollandÔø*s property, by sight, will win his daughterÔø*s hand in marriage. Men come from all over the land to try their luck. As a brilliant, dashing botanist (Hugo Weaving) approaches the finishing line, Ellen finds herself drawn to a mysterious stranger (Russell Crowe) whose stories of far away places take root in her soul.
" 'It has long been a dream of mine to come home to make a film telling a uniquely Australian story,' said Nicole Kidman. 'To be able to do so with my good friend Russell makes EUCALYPTUS extra special. Jocelyn Moorhouse has written a beautiful script -- a story of love and devotion -- which I am sure has universal appeal. This will be a wonderful collaboration of Australian talent.'
". . . EUCALYPTUS will be shot in Australia by Director of Photography Mandy Walker (SHATTERED GLASS, LANTANA). Both the production and costumes will be designed by three-time Oscar nominee Janet Patterson (OSCAR AND LUCINDA, THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY, THE PIANO)."
Hello (Feb.1, UK) features some photos of Russell, Danielle and Charlie in a park.
"EW: What actor will you see in any movie that they're in?
CR: I'll see Denzel Washington in anything. Probably Johnny Depp. And my new thing after seeing Alexander is that only Russell Crowe should be in period pieces. Even if the movie's about something that happened three weeks ago, they should hire Russell Crowe. He's just better than everybody."
"Kidman too old for Bail
THE casting of house-arrested actor Nicole Kidman in Eucalyptus caught many by surprise -- the 37-year-old's character is only 19. But author Murray Bail for one is pretty unhappy about it. He recently told a source he thinks the choice of Kidman is completely wrong, but Russell Crowe had insisted on her involvement. Abbie Cornish was also tipped to take the role. Bail says he was in favour of Scarlett Johansson of Lost In Translation fame."
12/18/04 As filming for Eucalyptus gets under way next month, talk about the film is heating up. From today's Courier Mail (Queensland):
"NSW Northern Rivers locations are being scouted for one of next year's most anticipated Australian features, Eucalyptus, which will put Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe on screen together for the first time.
"The Oscar winners -- who aren't being paid their usual Hollywood rates but will work to Australian equity scale -- will be directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, who has adapted Murray Bail's novel. Insiders who've read the script describe it as providing the potential for a "sweet love story" not exactly like Bail's original.
"Crowe (whose Cinderella Man will release during 2005) has double duties to attend to, as he's also serving as executive producer for the film which will be released through Fox's arthouse arm, Fox Searchlight.
"Shooting is due to start in early January, with a 16-week schedule expected before it wraps."
"Australia's most expensive penthouse will be built 220m above Surfers Paradise beach at the summit of an exclusive millionaires-only skyscraper. With a price tag of $16.75 million, the sky mansion at the Soul on Surfers Paradise tower will eclipse a previous record of $14 million paid by actor Russell Crowe for a penthouse at Woolloomooloo's Finger Wharf in Sydney last year. 'I'm sure if Russell has got $16.75 million spare and wants a beach shack for the weekend we'd love to see him,' said joint managing director of Juniper Development Group, Shaun Juniper."
12/17/04 Yes, we're still here! We know the updates have been very slow, but we're working on it! Honest! We're hoping that in the new year, with such exciting projects coming up for Russell, we'll get back to regular updates. Until then, to (mis)quote one of our all-time favorite movie lines, "We're not dead yet!"
"Braddock ! Braddock! Braddock! Braddock!
It's more than a year since I've had that 'first viewing' feeling with one of Russell's films and I'm likely to have to wait another year for the next. Happily, I think this film will sustain me!
I have signed away my right to discuss anything I have been shown this evening and for the good of everyone involved, I will take that seriously.
I can say that in my opinion, there is not much that needs changing. It will satisfy a fairly broad audience. I won't go as far as to say there is something for everyone, but the balance of the different elements of the film seems to be close to perfect. Wonderful casting choices in the main and great performances throughout. From the opening scene to the closing resolve, a well crafted movie
Any personal reservations I might have had about the subject matter were not founded at all.
I'd like to say more, but I don't wish to give any spoilers and if I went into any more detail it might be harmful to that magical moment of everyone's first viewing.
I am sure it's OK to say that we saw an ungraded video so in this very large auditorium the picture quality was not perfect but it was not expected to be and the story is up there and so involving that I was soon accustomed to the look. We were asked about the music so one has to assume that what little was there is the commissioned work. I guess there is more to come but I hope not too much.
Most of the audience seemed to receive it well and it was packed. The guy sitting next to me loved it with one reservation that I probably shouldn't disclose. I found the questions they asked afterwards quite telling with respect to their concerns about the film's possible points of contention, but I cannot disclose those questions at this stage.
I have tried to be objective in my viewing, but I doubt that any fan will be disappointed with this film. I am still shell-shocked!"
10/13/04 More Eucalyptus casting news: Variety reported yesterday that Russell's longtime friend Nicole Kidman could be joining the cast. Today's Sydney Daily Telegraph mentions Kidman as a contender, and cites "on-set sources" who say young actress Abbie Cornish was in the running too but passed. The story: Casting ouch for Cornish
9/30/04 Some exciting Eucalyptus casting news! The Hollywood Reporter claims he's in negotiations, but Daily Variety states that Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush has joined the cast. From the Reporter:
"Rush would play an Australian widower who plants hundreds of eucalyptus trees on his plantation. When his daughter Ellen comes of age, he tests her suitors by making them identify every species. One succeeds, but by then Ellen already has lost her heart to a handsome stranger played by Crowe.
"The film is being directed by Jocelyn Moorehouse, written by Michelle Joyner and Moorehouse with Uberto Pasolini and Lynda House producing."
" 'I don't know why people jump on him, I have worked with him twice and that constitutes nine or 10 months and I have never once seen him smack anyone or be out of control when he was drunk,' he says with a fierce conviction.
" 'He is a frank human being, that is what I would say about him. But if you took that away from him he would not be the person people pay millions of dollars to go and see in movie theatres.
" 'I was in Mexico with him, we were working all the hours God sent. He (Crowe) was working more. I was learning the cello every night, he was learning the violin every night.
" 'We had to learn four f--ing pieces of Mozart and then the shooting schedule was so full on.
" 'Then I would read in the papers the next morning that he had been in Tijuana in some bar fight - it could not have happened. I just find that stuff rude.' "
9/17/04TV ALERT!!! SOUNDSTAGE: "30 Odd Foot of Grunts Featuring Russell Crowe with Kris Kristofferson" Thursday, September 23, 2004 10 - 11:00 pm (Check local listings) More info here: pbs.org/soundstage.
8/03/04"Jeff Crowe [Russell's cousin] is in a competition to win a dream TV job going to golf courses all around the world. There are four people in the competition and whoever gets the most votes online wins the job."
You can vote for Jeff and help him win! Log on to www.fineliving.com, click on "In Search Of The Wandering Golfer"-- listed under "Editor's Picks." (Thanks to Ray)
7/20/04 Big casting news! Variety and The Hollywood Reporter report that Russell is in negotiations to star in a film adaptation of "Eucalyptus," the award-winning novel by Murray Bail. We can't help but be thrilled about this one -- we'd touted the book as a perfect vehicle for Russell all the way back in 1999! (See our news page archives here for an item on the book)
We've started a brand-new page on the film, with more about it. Though the newspapers are saying he's only "in negotiations" to star, it's usually a good bet the deal will happen once it's in the Hollywood trades. Read our new Eucalyptus page here!
6/20/04 Best wishes to all the dads out there -- including Russell on his very first Father's Day!!
In case you missed them the first time around (as always, check local listings for times):
Today: "InStyle: Celebrity Weddings" (Russell and Danielle's wedding), Lifetime
Today: "Headliners & Legends: Russell Crowe," MSNBC
Wednesday: "Famous: Russell Crowe," Biography (Thanks to Vickie)
6/3/04 If you haven't already seen it, be sure to tape "Hollywood, Inc.: Shut it Down!" on the Discovery Times cable channel today. The one-hour documentary details the making of several big films, and includes a sometimes brutally honest look at the making of Gladiator. The show will repeat twice today, so be sure to check local listings.
" 'We can't say we haven't talked to Hugh (Jackman) because we have and obviously his company is involved in this,' Mr. Wincer said.
" 'But we also had words with Russell Crowe and there are other actors who have expressed interest - it's a dream role.'
"The story of a stockman droving cattle across Australia could well appeal to Crowe, who owns a farm in NSW and enjoys being seen on horseback in his Drizabone with stock whip in hand.
". . . Jack Thompson played Clancy in 'The Man From Snowy River' and this production will build on Banjo Patterson's poem to show why Clancy was already a legendary stockman.
"Filming will take place across NSW, Queensland and Victoria and is expected to begin in the second half of next year."
"My partner Suzie; then, in my terms, it would be an all-family affair; I'd have my Australian 'brother', Russell Crowe; my English 'brother' Mark Nicholas; my New Zealand brother Jeff; and my father Dave, who was a great influence on my career and was a great friend who instilled a love of cricket. Dad was a left-handed batsman and leg-break bowler who played a few first-class games. He is departed now, but I'd love to bring him back."
f course remember Dave Crowe, one of our earliest contributors and a great supporter of Maximum Crowe. To read his essays on Russell, visit our exclusive It's All Relative page here.
5/21/04 Someone in an official capacity has finally confirmed -- sort of -- that Russell might star in the film version of the best-seller "The Da Vinci Code." (Ron Howard is directing the film, and it's rumored that he wants Russell for the lead.) During an appearance in Concord, New Hampshire, author Dan Brown spoke about the film. From an article on his appearance:
"Brown said the movie version of 'Da Vinci Code' is under way. He mentioned some names that have been batted about for the lead role: George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman. (Clooney's name drew the loudest response from the audience).
"He initially resisted having the book made into a movie, but succumbed when producer Harvey Weinstein told him many people don't read books, but deserve to know the 'Da Vinci Code' story, Brown said.
" 'He absolutely appealed to my ego,' Brown said. 'How many chances do you get to fly to Paris to see your book turned into a movie by Ron Howard?' " (from The Union Leader, Manchester N.H.)
4/28/04Russell reportedly has offered an undisclosed amount to help rebuild the library of a Jewish school in Montreal that was fire-bombed April 5. According to the CBC, Russell called the school days after the attack, and, after speaking with administrators, "asked the school to relay his words of support to the students only, not to the general public." The story is all over the papers in Canada -- and soon all over the world. Here are just a few reports: (Thanks to everyone who sent them in)
Calgary Sun: Actor offers help to school
Montreal Gazette: Actor lends support to bombed school
Toronto Star: Actor Crowe offers cash to rebuild school's library
To read the Sydney Morning Herald article about Russell's participation in the project, click here. (Thanks to everyone for the SMH article)
4/22/04 Master and Commander had a successful launch onto video and DVD Tuesday. According to executives at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, the movie sold more than 2 million copies (combined DVD and VHS) in its first day of release! From the Hollywood Reporter:
"The Oscar-winning seafaring film, directed by Peter Weir and starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany, was not only heavily promoted by Fox in television, radio and print ads but also was bolstered by such national home video retailers as Wal-Mart and Kmart, which dipped into their own pockets to promote the film with print and other ads.
"The 2 million DVD and VHS units sold to consumers and rental stores during the video's first 24 hours in release represents an estimated 35 percent of the studio's initial shipment of videos, according to Fox. And 25 percent of that figure sold through to consumers and rental stores during the video's first day in release represents sales of the film's special edition two-disc boxed set, according to Fox."
4/20/04 It's a big video/DVD day for Russell fans! First, Master and Commander is out on video and DVD today! It has two versions, the movie-only version and a special two-disc special collection featuring lots of extras. If you haven't yet, you can buy the movie here! (Also available in a full-screen edition and on PAL.)
A few more of the many reviews of the DVD:Master and Commander brings impressive naval battle sounds to DVD release
From Roger Ebert: "'Master and Commander' (PG-13) four stars -- An exuberant sea adventure told with uncommon intelligence, re-creating the world of the British Navy circa 1805 with detail and intensity. Not just a swashbuckler, although the battle scenes have brutal and intimate violence. Russell Crowe stars as Capt. Jack Aubrey, and Paul Bettany is ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin, in a story inspired by the beloved novels by Patrick O'Brian. As the HMS Surprise pursues a French warship in South American waters, their friendship and onboard life take equal billing with the action scenes. Shows how great action movies can rouse and exhilarate us, can affirm life instead of simply dramatizing its destruction."
For MUCH MORE news (much of it still current!) and photos, don't forget to read the NEWS ARCHIVE HERE!
RUMORS and GOSSIP. . .
RELATED NEWS. . .
Russell at Amazon.com
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