Then it was off to Australia for summer training and an unexpected evening with Russell Crowe and friends when Gauthier took her to her first rugby game.
It was dark when they get off the ferry, there was no sign of the stadium, no sign of anyone until a city bus pulled up. Problem was the driver promptly shut it down and got off.
“There’s one other person and he says, ‘Russell Crowe is coming.’ We’re ‘Come on, give us a break.’ It was like out from the mist, Russell Crowe walks up to his Escalade. He had driven in by boat.”
Gauthier convinced her to get in position to do a video blog with Crowe in the frame as she talks about going to the rugby game, pointing out Crowe behind her.
“We can kind of see him looking at us but he gets in his Escalade and drives off. There’s three shuttles from where his Escalade took off so I peeked my head in one of the buses and asked if they were going to the stadium and could we get a ride, thinking it was a public shuttle.
“They all start laughing but tell us to come on. We find out they’re all Russell Crowe’s friends.”
Crowe is part owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs and rarely misses a game when he’s home.
When the bus arrived at the stadium and headed to the VIP zone, Heil and Gauthier headed off in search of a way around the stadium to get to the fan zone where they have tickets.
“We’re trying to figure out how to get out and someone from the group runs out with two tickets for Dom and I to join them in the box with Russell. Russell comes in and says hello to everybody, very friendly, very generous. He pauses, says, ‘You were the guys who were filming me outside.’ He’s giving us a hard time about that, and joking with us. We explain what it was for and he was a good sport.”
After the game, with the ferry no longer running, the Canadians were invited to ride Crowe’s yacht back to town.
“We docked in front of his house, had some drinks with them and that was the evening. It was quite an adventure. My sister almost fell off her chair when I told her the Russell Crowe story because it’s so bizarre, one of my best stories ever I think. ”