An excerpt about Russell from an interview with Allen Hughes, at Vanity Fair:
So then you get to Mr. Crowe over here. We’ve all heard these very colorful, interesting, edgy stories about Russell, so I was nervous when it was time to sit down with him. He’s totally different than Mark. We know what Russell is. This guy is an actor. And what I found with him is that he’s just—I don’t use the G word much and I’m not going to say it here—but he’s just savant-like, you know? We’ve seen him play the very clever brutes, we’ve seen him play the savant socially challenged guys like in A Beautiful Mind. But I was anxious to see if he could pull off the charismatic. That man. And I didn’t know that’s where his true genius lies. He is so social, he is so sharp, he is so hyper-aware of everything.