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CASTING CORNER
 
Wednesday, February 27, 2002
Russell Crowe Talks About Alleged Fight

After a congratulatory kiss from Halle Berry, Russell Crowe was flying high Sunday night, celebrating his Best Actor honors at Britain's Academy Awards. With Aussie actress Danielle Spencer by his side, it was a beautiful night for the Oscar-nominated star of "A Beautiful Mind."

Russell says, "We had a few drinks and stuff, we had a few friends around, and Danielle got chatted up by Dustin Hoffman. So it wasn't a bad night altogether."

But last night in Sydney, at the Australian premiere of "A Beautiful Mind," Crowe wanted to set the record straight over reports that he supposedly roughed up a British TV executive. He says, "It wasn't a moment of violence. It was a moment of clarification."

Forty-eight hours after the alleged incident, Crowe admits he was fuming after 51-year-old producer Malcolm Gerrie edited out a chunk of his acceptance speech. Specifically, Crowe had recited a poem honoring several important people in his life, including "Gladiator" co-star Richard Harries. But Gerrie decided to cut Crowe’s poem out of the BBC broadcast. Then, the actor confronted the exec at an after-party, and by Crowe’s own admission, his beautiful night turned a wee bit ugly.

Crowe says, "I gave him a poke, yeah, in the shoulder. But that was because I’d gone through what I was trying to say and he was disregarding it as being important. And in the moment, I’m a very passionate man."

Crowe says the producer should have set aside more time for the winners to make the most of their big moment. And last night Crowe wanted to recite the poem again, and we were more than happy to give him the extra time. Crowe said, "It goes, ‘To be a poet and not know the trade, to be a lover and repel all women, twin ironies by which great saints are made, the agonizing pincher jaws of heaven.’"

Now let this serve as a lesson to TV producers in London - when in Rome, let gladiator recite his poem.

 


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