Saturday, June 04, 2005

Note to Russell Crowe: Go Easy


(image via probertencycolopedia)

Russell Crowe reminds one of Harvey Keitel with all his idiosyncratic alpha male ramblings (or, as The Corsair likes to call such chatter, "the ... yam-yam"), but we have to admit, both men are dedicated actors with "the jeweler's eye" when it comes to choosing meaty, dramatic roles. Perhaps we ought to allow them their particular conceits and chalk it up to the eccentricity of near-genius.

It is in the June 10, 2005 issue of the always instructive but, sometimes, "overmanly," Entertainment Weekly, that Russell outdoes himself in telling testosterone-filled tales of training on the set of Cinderella Man:

"Russell Crowe: Spending 10, 12 hours a day in your own sweat -- that's a hard thing to get used to ... At one point I mentioned to the physiotherapist that it was like the third day in a row my urine was dark brown. And he was like, 'Man, you've got to bring that stuff up with me sooner. You're clinically dehydrated and your body is starting to eat its own muscle tissue."

TMI! TMI! Thanks for sharing, though Big Russ. Crowe is hilariously adolescent here or anytime he grunts and growls like a Lowland Gorilla, ass akimbo and knuckles dragging, establishing territorial dominance with his interviewers. There's always some sort of tale of endurance or test of wills with Russell Crowe. Do you remember the sour look on his puss when Denzel Washington beat him for an Oscar a couple of years ago? Crowe's overdeveloped sense of "Id" is most amusing, especially when his entourage of low rent thugs are in tow and he can do up the alpha male persona like a mug.

Imagine what it would be to "direct" such a species of man in an actual film? I'd definitely Tasergun his ass on day 1, just to establish who was alpha at the get-go, you knowwhatImean? Crowe would probably respect such a gesture as par for the course, anyway, no harm no foul.

Now, imagine ... a sketch for a comedy show where Harvey Keitel and Russell Crowe are in conversation (Slow news day, folks; we'll have to use our "imagination"), which starts out amiably enough, but eventually, for due to biochemical imbalances on the part of both participants, it escalates into competition, more and more ferociously, building, into some pagan dominance ritual, concluding in an impromptu wrestling match of astonishing violence. For the the greatest comedic effect, cast "actors" that look nothing like the two, but have the hair and voice mimickry down pat and walk in a "Simian" manner. To wit:

Russell Crowe: (Staring Intensely) I like your work, mate. (Flaring nostrils)

Harvey Keitel: (Dominant "Buffalo" Stance) Yeah, I like your work too, man. (Sizing him up; Reptile Gaze) Cheers. You've got a good work ethic. Most of these young punks today. (Roars; Tears out grass, Throws Grass into the air) They don't know what it means to do an honest days work.

Russell Crowe: (Beating Chest, slowly) I hear ya. (Low, Menacing Grunt) They don't give a shit about "The Craft." (Slowly encircles Keitel with an aura of Real Menace) They're just after "the romance" and "the glamour." (Eyes Keitel intently) Fucking pretty boys.

Harvey Keitel: You think acting is tough? (Abruptly Scent-Marks the Studio with His Own Urine) Ahh, scuse me. (Corners Crowe) I was a Marine. (Mock Charge) I learned one of my life lessons in the Marine Corps (Bears Fangs). I was on a night combat course. You couldn't see your hand in front of your face. I was scared. The instructor was standing on a platform and said, 'we're all afraid of the dark, but I'm going to teach you to live in the nighttime.'

Russell Crowe: In Gladiator (Bugles like a Bull Elk), I got a finger smashed in the first sequence on the general frontier. (Moves inch by inch, still watching Keitel) I burned my foot and I had both biceps tendons pop out. I still don't have any feeling in one finger.

Harvey Keitel: (Puffs out Chest to appear larger than he is) Our duty in the Corps was to protect those who do not have the means to protect themselves and that we were there is the sum of doing what is right.

(Tenseness ... Compressed Violence)

Crowe: (Deliberately; an Invisible Line-in-the-Sand Has Benn Crossed) ... In hunting everything has to be right. Even the rhythm of the moon is very important. A full moon, though, makes the hunt less successful as I probably become more visible to their prey with the light of the moon. (Pause) ... The heart, liver and kidneys are eaten first (Pounces on Keitel; About to tear out his throat)

Michael Madsen: (In Doorway) Can I join in? Or is this dance private? ... Are you gonna bark all day, little doggie, or are you gonna bite (Breaks bottle of Mouton Cadet in Half; Pounces)

Or something like that ...

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