Source: Russell's letter to the Sunday Telegraph (Australia)
February 19, 2005
Oh, for goodness sake, what next?
Perhaps I wanted to play Nicole's role as well? Yes, that must be it, Crowe needed nicer skirts.
No, I'm not the director. I am the executive producer of a floundered project that will take all the passionate advocacy I can muster to convince the powers that be to remount. The craftsmanship alone in the house set at Bellingen is enough to embolden my heart to face the accountants.
I don't have a problem with Hugo venting. I agree with most of what he said. I fell in love with a magical and mysterious script by Michelle Joyner and Jocelyn Moorhouse 14 months ago. If I've tried to change anything it has been the desire to change things, what could be the word, to become a "reversionist".
When I came on board to play a minor role, in a specified amount of weeks, it all seemed quite simple. However, from that seed strange growths appeared in the script. At one of the many narrative junctures I was taken aback at the addition of a scene requiring me to expose my penis to the young Queen Elizabeth. Hugo hasn't seen all the drafts. He hasn't been in the boardroom and is not privy to all the comings and goings. He can call me whenever he likes. I called him last Saturday but he didn't answer.
I think this is a beautiful project that has suffered from too many lovers. There will be a period of 5 weeks or so while all the numbers are crunched and run, then we may get the opportunity to state a case for continuing. The last thing we as an industry need is another under performing film, the second last thing we need to show the film world is an inability to get the job done.
I remain responsible to the production and on behalf of it.
Does the press realize that throwing this much unsubstantiated abuse at me, unfairly painting this ridiculous canvas of abstract accusation only makes me write more songs, do they really want that?
Let's get this in perspective.
It's a complicated business making a film, but that's all we are doing, making a movie.
A word like devastation - you use that to talk about the victims of a tsunami, or a mother who has lost her child fighting in Iraq.
This is a movie - a disheveled unfocused one that started to look like it was going to take longer and cost more than was planned. We had a window of opportunity to bring all the elements together. We didn't get our ducks lined up. We have to stop and evaluate where we are. It is the responsible thing to do.
I'm sorry people are out of a gig, but they know that. I faced them in person to tell them. I'm out of a gig too. Any idea how many things I haven't done to be here since September for a 5 week commitment? I will do my best to be a positive influence in getting this thing going again, but here's the key, it wasn't my decision to stop this and if it doesn't get back up again, that won't be my decision either.