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Ghost Canyon

Russell Crowe  ('A Good Year') Russell Crowe ('A Good Year')

'More Days of Whine and Roses'

He may have started out as Kenny Larkin in Neighbours (Aussie soap), but Russell Crowe has emerged as one of Hollywood’s top actors. Roles in films like Romper Stomper and LA Confidential gave him a tough-guy persona he sometimes takes a little too literally off-screen (mind that phone!).

But there's no disputing the quality of his performances in movies as diverse as A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man. He has reunited with Gladiator director Ridley Scott for his latest, a gentle wine comedy called A Good Year.

There's a lot of physical comedy in A Good Year. Was it as taxing to do as the physical stuff in action films? "If you get it wrong, whether you're wrestling a tiger or whether you're trying to get out of a foot of cow shit, you're still going to bleed!"

This is the second time you've worked with Ridley Scott and you’ve just completed a third film, American Gangster "Ridley gave a quote to a magazine a couple of months ago where he said that he believes that we're both marginally grumpy men. But our mood significantly lightens in each other's company. He’s one of the greatest filmmakers ever to exist and for some reason he likes the way I do my part of the gig. So if he keeps asking me to be on a film set with him, I'm going to keep saying 'yes'."

"There's a certain level of excitement working with someone new but just as your cuddles and kisses get deeper the longer your marriage goes on, the depth of communication with Ridley increases because we know each other better"

You're known for your method acting. What did you do for A Good Year? "I don't do things just for the sake of doing them. If I'm playing a boxer and I don't spend six months or a year actually creating that body, then I'm not fulfilling the character. In life's big curve ball I've met guys like Max [his city slicker turned country kid character in A Good Year]. Funnily enough, when researching The Insider I had to go and find a bunch of corporate sharks."

There's a scene in the film where you become a waiter to impress the girl that you love. Have you ever done anything like that in real life? "I've known my wife for a very long time. We met in 1989, got married in 2003 and I did so much shit over that time to try and impress her. I once hired a boat in Sydney Harbour to take her out for a private night, and the only one I could get sat 150 people in the main salon. I wanted a kitchen because I wanted to cook for her. So this thing arrived at the hotel and it was just massive and smelt like there were definitely a lot of 21st birthday parties held on it."

"I had all this fresh scampi and I was in the kitchen but it was almost a three minute walk to get from the galley to where she was sitting on the deck! It could be a comedy in itself. She thought it was way over the top because she must have thought I'd intended to get a boat that size. But there's very little I wouldn't do to try and impress my wife."

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