The West Australian reminds us of this cool story updated with a Man of Steel discussion:
The woman was one of Brando’s close friends and the acting great had entrusted her to locate Crowe and present him with a book of poetry, There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves, by American author James Kavanaugh.
Tucked inside the book was another surprise – a note penned by Brando.
“Along with it came a little letter about how he liked watching certain films of mine,” Crowe recalled. “It really touched me when I received that because growing up as a young actor, his performances were very affecting to me. You can take what you get out of doing amateur theatre or whatever, but until you see On the Waterfront, or A Streetcar Named Desire, you kind of realise something did shift greatly in cinema performance.”
Crowe, with his machismo on and off screen, has often been compared with Brando, and in the new Superman movie, Man of Steel, the New Zealand-born, Australian-raised actor walks in Brando’s footsteps.
Crowe is Jor-El, the superhero’s biological father, a role Brando played in 1978′s Superman.
The opening scenes of Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen and Sucker Punch), take place on the planet Krypton, with Jor-El confronted with a parent’s worst nightmare.
Krypton is in its last hours. A military rebellion is attempting to overthrow Krypton’s rulers while years of reckless mining of resources on the planet are set to make it implode.
Jor-El decides the only way to continue the Kryptonian race and save his newborn son is to place him in a small space capsule and send it to the faraway planet Earth.
Crowe, who is father to two sons, nine-year-old Charles and six-year-old Tennyson, said the scene moved him.
“The very thought of having to give up your child is an extremely difficult thing to wrap your head around, even when you absolutely, fundamentally know in your heart it is the best thing,” Crowe said.
“To actually be active in the process of sending your child to the other side of the universe, it was a big thing that kept going around in my head.”
Jor-El does find a way to keep in touch with his son, played by British actor Henry Cavill, who, after being discovered in a field outside the US country town of Smallville and raised by farmers Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane), is struggling with his identity and superhuman powers.
Crowe recalled walking down the street with his wife, Danielle Spencer, after Charles was born.
“My first boy was only little and for some reason I was having this conversation with my wife about what we could do if something tragic happened, you know,” Crowe said.
“My gut instinct was somehow you have to go with your child. That for me played into exactly what Zack wanted in the script.
“I was sending him off but I do have a way, if circumstances come together in the place where he arrives, he can contact me still.
“It was strangely satisfying to have that second go at communication.”
Crowe also had some special words for 30-year-old Cavill, who is dealing with a new level of fame after being cast as Superman in Man of Steel.
“Henry had to get used to the fact that, apart from Ronald McDonald, he was going to be the most famous red-booted person in the world,” Crowe said.