Robin Hood opens in the U.S. ~ 2010
BBC News | View from the South Bank
May 14, 2010
By Pauline McLean
Not many people turn down the offer of a high profile death scene from the director Ridley Scott.
But when Charlie Allan was asked whether he'd agree to be the extra killed off by a strongbow shot to the eye, he had his doubts.
"He killed me off in Gladiator," says Charlie, "so I didn't mind that but I was thinking, if he kills me off, what happens if there's a sequel?"
And Charlie, whose towering presence and massive beard means he won't fool anyone if he returns from the dead, has more reason than most to want to be in the sequel.
As chief executive of the Clanranald Trust, which he and some friends set up a decade ago to promote Scots heritage and culture, film work has become an important source of revenue.
They've appeared in almost 100 films - everything from battle recreation sequences for tourist bodies to big movies such as Braveheart, Gladiator and Robin Hood.
And the money they make is ploughed back into their work, specifically at the moment, the medieval fort they're building in the Carron Valley.
It's a far cry from the glamour of Cannes. Money's tight so most things are done by hand, whether that involves scraping bark from poles, digging trenches, or building a palisade around the site.
The harsh winter pushed everything drastically behind schedule and the volunteers, and employment placements are struggling to play catch up. But if all goes to plan, Charlie and his team hope to open Duncarron Fort for business in the summer of next year.
Their vision is of a hands-on visitor experience, part educational, part tourist attraction. One of the stone houses would be in a constant building state to demonstrate the techniques and processes. It would be available for weddings and events, and of course as a film location. It's all come neatly full circle already, with a film company from Ireland expressing interest, even in its current unfinished state. And the Trust have just taken possession on an unusual souvenir of their latest film.
Spurred on by Russell Crowe, who as well as starring in the film, is one of the producers, they were in the process of asking the props department for a massive battering ram. The £60,000 prop, created specifically for the film, had been nicknamed Rosie by all on set.
"Then Russell comes up next day," says Charlie, "and he says, 'I've sorted it.' And I said, what? And the penny dropped. He'd got Rosie for us. He was so pleased, he was dragging me across by the sleeve, saying 'look, she's all yours'."
Rosie arrived in Scotland earlier this week and is being stored at a secret location but it's hoped she'll be the centrepiece at an open day at Duncarron Fort later this summer.
And that the generous benefactor will drop by in the near future to see how the whole project is going.
Source: The Herald Sun
May 14, 2011
Russell Crowe's hush-hush nosh with Ted Baillieu
By Fiona Byrne
Actor Russell Crowe came face to face with Premier Ted Baillieu over dinner on Wednesday night with the no-nonsense star later giving Victoria's top pollie the thumbs-up -- and a new nickname.
The cosy meal marked the first time the Premier had met the Academy Award-winning star.
"Had a great meeting in Melbourne with Premier Teddy B and his offsider pistol Pete Ryan. I think Victoria is in good hands in harsh times," Crowe tweeted.
Also among the handful of guests at the private get-together was businessman Andrew Fox.
While lips were tightly sealed yesterday about exactly what was discussed, it is understood Crowe and Fox were acknowledged by the Premier for their support of Marysville's recovery from Black Saturday.
Crowe, Fox, golf great Greg Norman and mining magnate Andrew Forrest combined to support the reconstruction of the community.
Crowe has made several visits to the area.
A night out in London while filming Les Miserables ~ 2012
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