Russell Crowe with Catherine Zeta-Jones in Broken City
Two-time Oscar winner Russell Crowe will next be seen in the Mark Wahlberg-produced Broken City that releases in Calcutta on January 18. An email chat with the 48-year-old star of films like A Beautiful Mind and Gladiator.
What is it about Kevin Barlow in Broken City that attracted you?
The role that Allen (Hughes, the director) offered me is very challenging and different. I play New York City mayor Nicholas Hostetler, an admired public figure who recruits Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) to quietly investigate his wife Emily (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and find out who she’s having an affair with.
How was it sharing screen space with Mark Wahlberg and Catherine Zeta-Jones?
I think all three of us share a great chemistry on screen. All of us were so spontaneous that we just dived into the biggest of scenes and they turned out really well. I like to work with Mark a lot. He’s comfortable with the idea of playing characters. Catherine is magnificent. I think her power of acting has grown 10 folds from what it was earlier. She is fun to work with.
What did Allen Hughes as director bring to the table?
Broken City is his solo directorial debut. Earlier, the Hughes brothers, comprising twins Allen and Albert, have directed numerous films, including Menace II Society, Dead Presidents and The Book of Eli. Allen has directed this movie all alone — one-man army — and was quite comfortable with the movie-making process. He has portrayed all the characters very well. We all were able to bring out the feel and personality of the roles given to us.
With so many roles and films behind you, what is about this profession that still keeps you going?
Reality is, I’m an actor and an entertainer, and I really wouldn’t know what to do with another profession.
You have come fresh off playing the antagonist Javert in Les Miserables. How tough was it to switch to being Kevin Barlow?
I would say it wasn’t that difficult. As far as Barlow is concerned, I really didn’t have time to talk or do anything. Without any rehearsal, I just dived into the biggest scenes. The role was explained and written such that I was able to give my best in the first take.
At this stage, what kind of roles are you looking at?
I can only say that I like villains because there’s something so attractive about a committed person — they have a plan, an ideology... no matter how twisted. They’re motivated. If given an opportunity I would like to play such a role.
One hears that you are keen on Bollywood!
I would want to be a part of Bollywood. If given a chance I won’t mind singing in the film and shaking my leg, desi style! I don’t mean a typical Hollywood film that happens to be set in India, but a Bollywood film. The script needs to be right and I need to understand what I am doing. I can do my own singing and I can dance a little bit. I’m in no hurry. But if something good comes my way, I will take it.
Five Facts About Russ Le Roq
Tried a music career as a rockabilly singer sporting a large pompadour hairdo, playing under the name Russ Le Roq.
Although his surname is of Irish or English origin, he lists his background as “Norwegian and Maori”.
Gained 63 pounds for his role in Body of Lies, co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Took off on a 4,000-mile motorcycle trip around Australia with some of his friends after filming Gladiator.
Is a cousin of former New Zealand cricketers Jeff and Martin Crowe.
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