Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Romper Stomper temper temper

Has anyone else noticed a shift in the way Russell Crowe is being talked about lately? The one-time concierge-worrier has clearly turned over a new leaf and is wandering the streets of Britain doling out random acts of kindness like Oprah Winfrey in Lincoln green.

Russell has always been the strong, sensitive type. After all, he once accosted TV producer Malcolm Gerrie, believing him to be responsible for editing down coverage of Russell's reading of a poem called 'Sanctity'. Let's also not forget that he also famously smacked a hotel employee with a phone because he was unable to get through to his wife back in Australia.

But things have clearly changed for the ass-kicking Kiwi (not Australian as most people believe). Now he's filming Robin Hood with Gladiator-director Ridley Scott, someone has obviously realised that Russ needs a little help repositioning himself as a helpful hero, rather than a rage-driven fist-clencher.

The first beneficiary of Russell's new-found benevolence was lucky old Denise Yarde, a boom microphone operator on the set of Robin Hood. Arriving late to work because her car had died en-route, Denise was somewhat irritated by Russell's insensitive remarks. Probably never having heard the Christian Bale tapes, Yarde decided that she could talk-back to the temperamental A-lister, saying "Well, I suppose it's Ok for you, Russell, you've probably never had to worry about finding five grand for a new car." According to reports, Crowe was instantly put in his place, apologised and gave the plucky mike-dangler £5,000 to put towards a new car.

More recently, Russell popped into a Cancer Research store in Sunningdale, Berkshire. Perhaps he wanted to buy a brown tea cosy and some old Beano annuals. Anyway, so inspired was he by the hard working volunteers, he spontaneously made a £1,000 donation. All very unplanned and genuine, right down to the fact that the Daily Star were soon there to interview the star-struck shop staff.

Given the fact that Russell's new movie is all about a misunderstood criminal who makes grand gestures of generosity to the poor and needy, this all seems a little cynical and obvious. But I could be wrong. Maybe this isn't the grand invention of an imaginative PR team, and Russell really is just a misunderstood pussycat. And he'll punch anyone in the face who dares to disagree.

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