Russell Crowe Talks About The Essence Of Casting In Big Studio Movies

Russell Crowe has been in a lot of big films. So many that he can sense when something fits, or not.

Case in point: the time Crowe was up for a major role in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He was solicited for the role of Aragorn, which eventually went to Viggo Mortensen.

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In an interview with British GQ, Crowe talked about the delicate dance of casting.

Crowe, a big Tolkien fan, soon subtly discovered that director Jackson wasn’t keen on him as Aragorn.

“I very much felt the studio were making that (casting) decision, not the film director,” he said. “And I talked to Peter Jackson over the phone, and he wasn’t saying the sort of things that directors were saying to you if they were really trying to attract you to a project. And I just kind of got a sense that he already had somebody else in mind that he wanted to do. And me stepping forward and saying yes was actually going to get in his way. We come from the same place, so there’s a nuance in that conversation that other people might not hear –we’re both New Zealanders – in his own way without him saying anything negative, that he had another plan. So I just left it at that.”

In the same interview, Crowe raced to a recent statement from Dakota Johnson, who said her Madame Web felt like art “made by a committee.”

“I don’t want to make any comments to what anybody else might have said or what their experience is, but… you’re bringing out the impish quality of my humor. [Laughs.] You’re telling me you signed up for a Marvel movie, and some fucking universe for cartoon characters… and you didn’t get enough pathos?” Crowe said. “Not quite sure how I can make this better for you. It’s a gigantic machine, and they make movies at a certain size…these are jobs. You know: here’s your role, play the role. If you’re expecting this to be some kind of life-changing event, I just think you’re here for the wrong reasons.”

Crowe’s Kraven the Hunter opens in theaters Dec. 13 from Sony.

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