Source: Herald Sun
June 27, 2013
Russell Crowe enters ‘father phase’ in his career
By Vicky Roach
Russell Crowe is now taking on more fatherly roles such as Jor-El in Man of Steel, and is forward to making his directorial debut.
Q: You were recently honoured with your own Lego character. Does that rank up there alongside the Oscar?
A: It’s definitely on parity. My youngest son’s greatest joy in life is Lego mini-figures. So for me to present him with a Lego mini-figure of me was pretty cool.
Q: Noah, Jor-El … You seem to have entered a new, father phase in your career.
A: It’s funny, this thing clicked in 2011 where suddenly I found myself only working with directors who were substantially younger than me after a career, up to that point, of always working with Ridley Scott or Peter Weir or Ron Howard or Michael Mann, people who were older than me.
Q: Does it feel like a natural evolution?
A: The actors and actresses who complain to you there is not enough work for them, they are the people at 40 who are still trying to play the ingenue. Meryl Streep never makes that complaint because Meryl Streep plays the characters available to her. She doesn’t care about how many wrinkles, how much grey hair, what the body shape. She wants to play the internal engine of that character.
Q: This is the sort of role that might have once been played by an Anthony Hopkins or a Marlon Brando (who also played Jor-El). I understand Brando wrote you a fan letter.
A: I didn’t receive it until after he was dead. I’ve always been a massive fan. This woman had been pursuing me for a couple of years. She finally got me this package. I was a bit worried. It was a book of poetry. With it was quite a detailed letter … that turned out to be very complimentary. For whatever reason, (Brando) dug what I did. Particularly the Michael Mann film The Insider. (The book) showed me he had a deep sense of humour because I got in trouble for reciting the Irish rebel Patrick Kavanagh’s poem Sanctity on the BAFTA Awards. This was the American (writer) Kavanagh. And it had been a present to him from Jack Nicholson.
Q: You mentioned The Insider. In that film you very successfully convey the isolation and alienation of a whistleblower. I imagine that gives you some insight into Edward Snowden and how he must be feeling. And perhaps Julian Assange.
A: That’s one of those things where we could get into a really long conversation over a couple of glasses of wine. But the other side of that is having the effrontery and gall to make a statement about something that is really none of my business.
Q: So no particular observations?
A: I’m not necessarily that enamoured with the Julian Assanges of this world. It’s kind of naive and stupid of us to think that we don’t engage in things that don’t necessarily need to be discussed. And the threat involved, the threat people come under when somebody does that. I think there are other ways of cleaning up our act. It’s a bit too much of a machine gun for me. That sort of stuff should be really accurate.
Q: For years, you have made no secret of the fact that you wanted to direct. Why now?
A: I probably should have transitioned to directing maybe a decade ago. I was in the middle of doing that when a couple of really fascinating jobs came up.
Q: What made you choose The Water Diviner, which I understand is set in the immediate aftermath of Gallipoli?
A: It was a love at first page experience. There is a perspective in this movie that hasn’t been seen cinematically before and it’s deeply rooted in Australian culture. That’s really compelling for me — that here is this thing we think we know, but we only know it from our point of view. As one of the characters in this story says: “You invaded us. We didn’t invade you.” We have this whole culture grown up of heroism, centred around Gallipoli. And this experience has shaped Australia, shaped New Zealand. But we have never stood back to look at it from the Turkish perspective.
(Editor’s note: found this last paragraph, same article at Cairns.com.au)
Q: Will you also act in the film?
A: I am kind of forced to do that. That’s the principal way we are getting the money. That in and of itself is a much larger challenge than just doing one job or the other. Possibly 10 years ago, I might not have been ready for that.