This year’s biblical epic movie, Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky opened at #1 in the weekend box office bringing in an estimated $44 million in theater ticket sales. The drama depicts the scriptural tale of a man being chosen by his creator to execute a seemingly impossible feat in order to spare himself and his loved ones from a world about to be washed free of its terrible sinners. With an all-star cast led by Russell Crowe and including Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, and Emma Watson, Noah, even in its third week is pushing to cover the reported $125 million spent on production.
What’s interesting is the slew of negative criticism the film has received—from religious individuals whom one would think would be the films largest fan base. The lead actor, Russell Crowe, has had to put forth multiple defenses of the movie which is roughly grounded from the story from Genesis. The actor denounces the negative attention the film has received and says most of it has come from critics who have not even actually seen the movie. This feedback is proving rather frustrating for all involved since one of the biggest markets they hoped to pull in were Christians. Unfortunately, these tactics failed. Even worse, the film was eventually banned in several large areas of the Middle East and North Africa for its portrayal of religious accounts.
Having said that, the movie has still brought in over $100 million into the box office after its third weekend; it’s obviously being trafficked by some. For one, Noah is the 2nd highest opening in Crowe’s career, so it’s no small wonder the actor is defending his prized role. Keep reading for some little known facts about this high-profile leading man.
10 He hails from New Zealand.
Despite the award-winning actor having made great waves in Hollywood with an Academy Award for best actor in Gladiator, Russell Crowe was actually born in the island country of New Zealand. However, since early childhood, the actor has made his real home some 900 miles away in Australia. The actor apparently has a strong commitment to both locations and was quoted in 2000 by the New York Daily News as saying “I'd move to Los Angeles if New Zealand and Australia were swallowed up by a tidal wave, if there was a bubonic plague in England and if the continent of Africa disappeared from some Martian attack.” The above quote more than demonstrates his love of country and the fact that he has no desire whatsoever to live in the same place as his work.
9 He never graduated high school.
True enough, this incredibly successful actor has achieved more than enough by means of financial rewards and film industry recognition. One striking aspect about the actor that most fans do not know is that he did not finish secondary school. While attending Mount Roskill Grammar School at the age of sixteen, Crowe decided to drop out and, instead, pursue his dreams of being an actor. It was rumored that the aspiring actor saved up money performing odd jobs in the acting field in order to attend the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. However, he was informed by some unknown source that he was already well educated on what was taught at the school by the time he had enough money to attend. Needless to say, his seemingly rash decision to not finish high school certainly paid off for the actor.
8 He’s known for having a fiery temper.
One surprising characteristic of Russell Crowe witnessed by many in the film industry is his fiery temper. Many in the industry have learned the hard way that the actor does not take so fondly to criticisms or insults. For example, when asked in 2010 if he had purposely gone for an Irish accent in the Ridley Scott film Robin Hood, the actor became peeved by the comment and stormed out of a BBC radio interview. Such behavior might not seem that farfetched but E!’s Guiliana Rancic recently went on air recalling that an interview with the Aussie actor earlier in her career was most memorable. She recalls that Crowe was “so mean”, being snide about her line of questioning and walking away rudely in the midst of a red carpet interview.
7 He’s a musician.
The A Beautiful Mind lead actor most definitely is multifaceted in the way of talents. His failed career in music under the name Russ le Roq is said to be one of the larger forces that turned him full-force into acting. Still, Crowe maintained the role of lead singer and a guitarist for the band Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts (TOFOG) which formed in 1992. In the midst of many acting gigs, he held down this role until the group dissolved after releasing three full-length records in 2005. Crowe is now focusing on exclusive musical collaborations with a Canadian Great Big Sea band member, Alan Doyle.
6 He’s the owner of a rugby team.
One of the oldest rugby league teams in Australia, the South Sydney Rabbitohs or simply the Souths, is owned by Russell Crowe. Crowe has part ownership in the team with entrepreneur Peter Holmes a Court under a subsidiary firm, Blackcourt League Investments. When Crowe’s marriage to Australian singer Danielle Spencer was on the rocks, he anticipated selling his share of the team in an effort to “simplify” his life, reported the Sydney Morning Herald. Although the marriage eventually fell through with Crowe and Spencer citing separation in 2012, the actor still owns part of the team today.
5 He was arrested for 2nd-degree assault.
Carrying on from #8 Russell Crowe’s fiery temper has definitely made an impact on Hollywood and the world at large. In 2005, the actor was arrested for striking a hotel desk clerk in SoHo with a telephone after multiple failed attempts to contact his wife in Australia. Crowe was charged with 2nd degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon, which happened to be the telephone. Despite a laceration on the male desk clerk’s face, according to the New York Times, Crowe’s publicist declared that although “words were exchanged…at no time did he [Crowe] assault anyone or touch any hotel employee.”
4 He supports Occupy Wall Street.
Since its formation in 2011, the Aussie actor has gone on record as being an active supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The people-powered forward-thinking effort works “against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations,” according to the movement’s website. Crowe has even gone so far as to narrating a portion of the 99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film.
3 He ranted on Twitter about circumcisions.
Also in 2011, Russell Crowe became very vocal about his views on infant circumcision—by way of a rant on Twitter. The actor said “circumcision is barbaric and stupid. Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that GOD requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect.” However, he later logged back onto the popular social network and made a few apologies and clarifications, stating that his intentions were not meant to offend anyone. Obviously, this actor’s temper bleeds over into his many passionate beliefs as well.
2 He allegedly encountered a UFO sighting.
The actor truly made waves in early 2013 when he and a friend where videotaping fruit bats in the Sydney Botanic garden and allegedly witnessed a close encounter. Several time lapse pictures condensed into a YouTube video were posted by the actor for the whole world to see. In the brief video, there appears to be an ambiguous object moving across the screen from right to left. Regardless of the actor’s status and “proof”, many believed the sighting to be a hoax or some sort of trick of the camera lens, not confirmation of life beyond Earth.
1 He was the target of an Al Qaeda plot.
Most shocking of all that is interesting about this colorful actor is his appearance on a noteworthy ‘hit-list’. The Gladiator actor revealed in 2005 that he was, indeed, the target of an Al Qaeda plot for “cultural destabilization”. Apparently, the actor was approached by the FBI in 2001 and informed of the threat. This led to an increase in security for him privately and the assignment of an FBI detail all throughout the filming of two of his movies. The extremely secretive and vicious group sought to terminate a select number of high-profile Americans including Crowe. It seems that in Crowe’s case, as with anyone’s, fame can have a deadly price.