Hit by a smooth criminal. Russell Crowe gave a very revealing interview to The Guardian recently, during which he revealed a strange but true story about his rise to superstardom in the early 2000s. According to the Noah star, he was the frequent victim of prank calls from none other than the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, “for two or three f–king years,” despite the fact that the two had never been introduced in person.
“I never met him, never shook his hand,” Crowe told the paper of Jackson, who died in 2009 at age 50, “but he found out the name I stayed in hotels under, so it didn’t matter where I was, he’d ring up, do this kind of thing, like you did when you were 10, you know. ‘Is Mr. Wall there? Is Mrs. Wall there? Are there any Walls there? Then what’s holding the roof up? Haha.’ You’re supposed to grow out of doing that, right?”
Incredibly, that’s not even the strangest thing Crowe, 50, has experienced as a celeb. Back in 2001, the actor was targeted by terrorist organization al-Qaeda, which reportedly wanted to kidnap the Gladiator Oscar winner.
“I still really don’t know to this day what the f–k that was all about,” he admitted to The Guardian. “All I know is, I arrived in L.A., got to my hotel, as I’d done umpteen times before, started unpacking, and there was a knock at the door and a team of FBI guys wanted to sit down and discuss something with me. And then, for nearly two years, they were always around.”
They even followed him to awards shows. “I remember going to the Golden Globes and having, like, 16 security guys with me,” he recalled. “I don’t even know why. They wouldn’t give me any details. And of course, people were like: ‘Look at him, he thinks he’s f–king Elvis.’ And then one day they just weren’t there anymore.”
Crowe’s life has settled down considerably since then, but he did find himself in the headlines again recently, when he remarked that female actresses who complain about a dearth of good roles aren’t looking in the right places for their age group.
“To be honest, I think you’ll find that the woman who is saying that is the woman who at 40, 45, 48, still wants to play the ingenue and can’t understand why she’s not being cast as the 21-year-old,” he told Australia Women’s Weekly in January.
Meryl Streep, for one, thought Crowe’s point was entirely reasonable, but many other women took issue with the comment.
“Look, the thing that people are talking about in terms of ageism or sexism or whatever, that’s prevalent everywhere and it’s male and female,” Crowe told The Guardian.
He went on to cite his father, John Alexander Crowe, a movie-set caterer, as an example. “When my dad was 45, he was suddenly unemployable. He’d always been the boss, always been in control, but now, in the job he was doing, there was a 25-year-old who could do it for half the money. So that’s life,” he explained.
“I’m just saying: Be comfortable in your own skin,” he continued. “Sure, you know, if you’re lucky enough you get to be the ingenue, but then at a certain point, you’re the dowager. But enjoy playing that role too.”
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