May 4, 2004
So Russell Crowe walks into a bar ... No, really. While in Toronto filming The Cinderella Man, Crowe took in a performance by singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves at nightspot Hugh's Room. Slimmed down for his role (as Depression-era fighter Jim Braddock) and unassuming, Crowe, who arrived right before the second set, surprisingly attracted little notice. He even agreed to sign a Master and Commander DVD for a Rounder Records rep who bought him a drink - but only if it was the deluxe edition. "Because I might have only just signed certain letters of my name otherwise," he quipped.
Source: The Sunday Telegraph
May 04, 2008
Russell Crowe speaks out
By Phil Rothfield and Rebecca Wilson
Russell Crowe has given unqualified support for Jason Taylor as South Sydney have been pitched back into a horror season of poor form and off-field issues. From Los Angeles and the set of his latest movie, Crowe spoke exclusively to Bec and Buzz via email about a range of issues, including a serve for co-owner Peter Holmes a Court. Crowe admitted he and Holmes a Court are still on their L-plates when it comes to running a club and said those players dropped last week were "stupid" for breaking their own drinking ban.
Q. How hard is it to follow your team from the other side of the world. Can you listen to or watch Souths on the net?
A. I get to see every game these days by using a product called Slingbox, which is available here in America. The picture quality isn't spectacular but no doubt that will improve over time. Like everybody else, I've got to fit it around work time, but with the Slingbox if we can get an internet signal we are on. Recently on a night shoot for the film State of Play, I got to watch most of a game because the local real estate agent in a suburb of Washington DC let me sit in his office in the early hours and plug in a computer. His was the only business on the street that had a strong enough internet signal. I didn't see all of the game because I was shooting, but, luckily, by game time the dialogue scenes were finished and the rest of the night was shots of me walking down the street, so I could watch between takes. While we were shooting in DC our work week was Wednesday to Sunday because a number of government buildings are featured in the film and can't be used on regular work days. It was a relatively short 14-week shoot with most of the last three weeks of shooting at night, which means you start around 5pm and finish around 5am, a few of those nights under rain towers, which is really not my favourite way to spend time. Since filming finished I have been in Los Angeles doing post production on a movie I shot last year and scheduling meetings around taking my eldest boy to and from school every day and keeping the youngest one occupied while their mum was working. I have spent many hours with Sir Ridley Scott while he is planning a huge film for Universal. If the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) deal is done, then he hopes to start that in August. As for not being there for the football, I like the energy of game day, the sense of purpose, the adrenalin of the game, so not being around for the trials and the first seven rounds, that is something I've missed. I'm looking forward to being at ANZ Stadium and seeing some winning form.
Q. Are you in touch with the team, coach, players and Peter Holmes a Court often? I guess you'd have a decent old phone bill.
A. I get kept up to date via e-mail mainly. Peter and I can occasionally get into world-record territory on the phone but, most of the time, short e-mails and text messages.
Q. Losing Craig Wing was obviously a massive blow in round one. It must be hard to invest so much money in one great playmaker and see him sidelined the way he was?
A. Losing any player through injury is always a blow. Craig will get back on the park this year and we will all be very happy for him when he does. I'm equally happy to see that distinguished gentleman of the game N Vagana Esq back on the field, not to mention Issac Luke. Our squad is designed to have multiple players for all positions, like all NRL teams, but it is a game of attrition and injuries to players is part of the environment and the equation. I'm not looking for excuses for this season so far, but any objective pundit would agree that from last season we have lost a lot of experience out of our squad - some of that loss was expected, some unexpected. The retirement of David Peachey, Paul Mellor and Shane Rigon, not to mention the indomitable Yak, Peter Cusack, extending his football career in the UK, there's close to 900 games of hard-won NRL experience in those four players alone. We have a good mix of youth and experience in our squad that will serve us well in the future. Shane Richardson and Mark Hughes are both doing an exceptional job, our reserve-grade side is unbeaten and our NYC team is starting to click. Getting the NRL team on the board and going forward is everybody's goal.
Q. What would you say to Souths fans who are obviously finding this season as hard as you are?
A. If you are truly red and green, I don't have to say anything. You know I share your disappointment and I know you are empathetic towards the coach and team, and if you are truly red and green you'll know in your heart, our boys are doing their best to lift themselves to the high standards they all know they are capable of. I always think the next game is ours, I never stop believing. Souths fans have endured much worse than this over the years. Won't the first two points feel good?
Q. Do you have a message for the players and coaching staff?
A. Only that I'm sorry they have to read another "Souths in crisis'' story in your paper. I'd much prefer to talk to them in person and catch up on things, but it's the nature of the business that sooner or later, regardless of our structure that lets every person get on with and be responsible for their job, someone was going to require my take on the situation. No doubt since I have finally responded to you after months of requests, some wit at another media outlet will remark that what Souths need is for me to keep my mouth shut. Two strong words, South Sydney. Repeat until victory is assured.
Q. What's the best Souths can get out of the season?
A. Cohesion. I believe this squad is capable of doing some very special things on the football field and I'm looking forward to seeing that.
Q. Have you heard what the morale is like? Five players failed a breath test before training and were disciplined. Some people see that as fairly harsh. Your thoughts?
A. No doubt seven losses equates to some kind of hit to morale, but we have some strong leaders at our core and from what is communicated to me everybody is on the same page and they have their heads up. We are a family club and the connection between the players is deep and positive. As others have pointed out, there was no incident or anything of that nature. These recent "infringements'' are to standards the players have set themselves. Failing a self imposed criteria? The players involved are by now, no doubt, acutely aware of how stupid that appears to other people. This isn't failing to measure up to some Draconian club policy, this is just letting down your mates and yourself.
Q. I have spoken to Peter about a number of rumours in recent weeks. I guess it happens at all clubs during difficult times. There was a rumour you guys were thinking of bailing out. Peter assures me it's not right. I presume you are in this for the long haul?
A. There have never been any misconceptions in the wider community about the financial wellbeing of Souths. When Peter and I took over, the situation was dire then, we are still in the first stages of repairing those problems. This is a business of extremely small margins, and gains over past fiscal failures will be incremental and gradual. We didn't get into this thinking it was all about a coat of paint. It has to be a long-term plan because there was and is so much to define, improve and refine. Recently Ray Chesterton said Pete had a big L-plate swinging around his neck, well I've got one too. We accept that our learning curve is steep and we will no doubt wear those L-plates for a long time. Peter assures me he's not going to do any more magazine shots holding rugby league balls and I'm holding him to that.
Q. What about the financial side of things? I'm told the club lost $4m last year. That's a lot of brass. As much as you love Souths, can you afford to throw away $2m a year? Will you continue to do so.
A. On-field success last year and community support for some of our initiatives resulted in membership numbers doubling this year. We tried a lot of new things last year, in some areas we got lucky and new structures have held well, in others we have had less success and we have sought to deconstruct and start again. Our ultimate aim, and it is a goal we share with our members, is to make Souths cost effective across the board. We want our administration to be lean and mean and efficient in how it brings in the money required to run the team, and we want to provide our players game-leading facilities, medical care and motivation. Last year probably seemed too flashy for some, but a lot of the things reported that we "splashed out'' on, we didn't pay for. Armani suits is one prominent one. Mr Armani has been a friend for many years. He graciously designed and constructed that uniform for us out of his own generosity and what's more, he kitted out our new players this year as well. Like every Souths supporter, he too is waiting on some good news.
Q. On the coaching front Jason Taylor has obviously been doing his best in a really tough environment. Coaches moving to different clubs has been a big news story this year. Is Jason's job secure?
A. Jason Taylor is the coach of South Sydney. He has his responsibilities and he attends to them in an exemplary fashion. This situation is nothing that Jason can't or won't rise above.
Q. When are you coming home? What's the first game you'll go to?
A. If our plans don't change and the kids let us get some sleep on the plane, I might get out to the ground today.