4/28/06 - Players Eat Like Crowe:
are eating like gladiators who were feted as though each meal was
And behind the souped-up dietary regimen for the South Sydney players
is the most feared "gladiator'' of modern times, Russell Crowe.
Crowe's fellow Rabbitohs owner, Peter Holmes a Court, said a catering
company, whose services are estimated at $50,000 a season, has been
engaged because of Crowe's "passion for all-organic produce and
a balanced diet''.
It should be a recipe for success. But despite feasting on culinary delights
such as prime rump steak and field mushrooms after training, South Sydney
players are still starving for a win.
Three times a week, the NRL's paupers are treated to a royal spread.
The taste sensation kicks off with a buffet selection of dinner rolls, fresh
fruit and gourmet salad without a shred of iceberg lettuce.
A timber-framed blackboard spells out the choices for mains: grilled chicken
skewers, rump steak, or, for the strictly vegetarian palate, field mushrooms
and tomato. Each selection is served with cobs of corn and steamed broccoli
on a bed of mash.
Holmes a Court can appreciate the irony between the team's premium fuel and
its spluttering performance.
"If only it were that easy,'' he replied when asked why the new diet had
not been converted into positive results.
- The Herald Sun - NUI
CROWE AND THE ORDINARY FEAR OF GOD
Where: Manchester Lane, city, Thursday; again tomorrow
FINALLY. Russell Crowe gives his career-best songs a deserving forum. His
introspective work, My Hand, My Heart, and the intimacy of Manchester Lane
were made for each other.
This was obvious, and special, as Crowe unravelled vignettes from his film,
music and personal life, then related the stories to songs.
His colourful narratives were all the more compelling in this cosy jazz
club and Crowe the revelator and provocateur did not miss a beat.
He drew a line from Romper Stomper to cane cutters, to circle of life themes,
to passports, and the music backed him all the way. This was Crowe's new
musical expression; the way it was meant to be heard.
He has penned the most revealing songs of his career.
And for a star of Crowe's magnitude, that lyrical honesty is unflinching.
He bares his soul on wife Danielle Spencer's strength, on family
tragedy and as a former hell-raiser gaining perspective.
And though the calm of the room seemed to spook Crowe initially, it was an
attentive and appreciative crowd with the best intentions. They wanted to hear
the stories behind the songs. Crowe obliged wonderfully.
A year on, the new songs have bloomed. Mickey is sparer and prettier, with flecks
of Hammond organ.
Bassist Bones Hillman's understated chops makes the upbeat tunes swing, especially
The Legend of Barry Kable.
But the plaintive Raewyn, with complex layers and a gorgeous melody, best shows
Crowe's advancement as singer, songwriter and story teller.
Copyright 2006 News Ltd. All Rights Reserved Herald-Sun
Sunday Herald Sun
Edition 1 - FIRSTSUN 02 APR 2006
Calm change of heart - By NUI TE KOHA
Russell Crowe has taken a new tack with his music, finding calm in
his life, NUI TE KOHA reports
THEMATICALLY, Russell Crowe's latest album showed the actor-singer-songwriter
to be in a good place.
It was released, as a download only, in May last year and was met with curiosity,
analysis and interpretation.
The recordings, titled My Hand My Heart, indicated a completely new tack.
Crowe dissolved his band Thirty Odd Foot Of Grunts (TOFOG) to write the most
revealing songs of his career. And for a star of Crowe's magnitude, his lyrical
honesty was unflinching.
He bared his soul on wife Danielle Spencer's strength, family tragedy and a former
hellraiser gaining perspective.
Certainly, these sentiments suggested a new Crowe, less uncomfortable in a celebrity
skin and finding calm in life.
Then, on June 6 last year, Crowe was arrested for throwing a phone at a New York
hotel clerk. The incident caused a global media storm.
Crowe later pleaded guilty to misdemeanour assault and paid $160 court costs.
But suddenly, the profound messages on Crowe's album rang with new meaning and
"Did I not take my own warnings into account? Did I not listen to my own
wisdoms?'' Crowe asks.
"That is the wonderful thing about that level of personal composition.
"You are bound to be shown up by your own lessons if you go around preaching
"But let's get down to the actual event.
"I go to a courtroom, a judge asks if I would mind paying court costs,
I pay it, and that's it.
"And I'm standing there trying to understand why this is a worldwide news
At the time, prosecutors said hotel security video showed Crowe throwing a phone,
then striking a karate pose and taking theatrical bow.
Crowe confirms that.
"I think my words were: `Just get me a phone line. Elvis is leaving the
"It's obvious on the tape there was a good deal of humour involved. I think
that was taken into account.''
A year after releasing My Hand My Heart, Crowe is finding new layers in
the songs. One Good Year -- which features the line: "I've been chasing
grace/Grace ain't so easily found'', has expanded vocally. Mickey, about
an intriguing yet colourful character, has a prettier live version.
Mr Harris, Crowe's choral requiem to a friend, the late actor, hellraiser
Richard Harris, is a certified showstopper. A six- part vocal, a capella,
it has floored audiences from Sydney to Los Angeles to Paris.
"I'm having a strange love affair with the songs. I'm seeing them differently,''
"And I'm also starting to see the potentials in the songs. They are sharper,
angular, with their own coolness.''
My Hand My Heart, will be released as a disc tomorrow.
Crowe has covered Nick Cave's Breathless and penned Testify, a charge of gospel-blues-rock
giving his side of the New York story.
"I feel the irons on my wrist/and lament it's come to this/when they hang
me from the gallows/such is life, they'll hear me hiss,'' Crowe sings.
Testify builds on Crowe's long relationship with Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison
Blues, a staple in TOFOG's live set.
"While taking heavily from gospel and blues, it also borrows heavily from
Johnny Cash and his style of story-song,'' he says. "I like the narrative
because in terms of an intrinsically Australian thing, the protagonist
gets away, as opposed to Americana, where somebody has got to crash the
Crowe delivers the last half of that sentence in a broad American accent, then
"Listen, I applaud anyone who becomes famous and handles it well,'' he
"But I never wanted to buy into the seeming falsehoods that come with handling
"That buys into a trap of: `Well, I am very special and I should be treated
special'. Then you play the game completely.
"I am of the opinion there are times to have that hat on. And when you
don't have that hat on, be the ordinary bloke.
"In this country, they allow me to do that. But in America, I sometimes
feel I don't live up to the expectations of a movie star.
"Which is probably a good thing, because I don't rate myself that highly.''
Russell Crowe & The Ordinary Fear Of God, Grand Central Hotel, Richmond,
tomorrow, April 10, 17 and 24; Manchester Lane, City, April 20 and 27.
My Hand My Heart is available from HMV, Sanity and Virgin stores from tomorrow.
Edition 1 - 19 JAN 2006, Page I03
q&a By CLAIRE SUTHERLAND
Russell Crowe talks to CLAIRE SUTHERLAND
about his hot temper
Your reputation suggests you are quick to anger. Is that fair?
I'm just a fella, I'm just a bloke. I don't think I am, in the true sense, quick
to anger at all. Did you see the footage of walking into the court building (to
answer his phone-chucking charge)? Two hundred and fifty people and no controls.
Absolutely barbaric. My wife was there and she got pushed, shoved and whacked
with cameras. And I'm the one who's there for assault and having a temper? The
unfairest thing about this is when you're just the little furry animal that gets
run over on the road . . . people just decide to take you down for their own
Are you uncompromising on set?
I'm perfectly willing to change my mind. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but the thing
is, you have nothing if you don't start making decisions. You can talk about
s--- until the cows come home, but sooner or later, if you're going to make a
feature film, you have to make a decision.
Do you feel the media intrudes on your life?
Do I like being doorstopped? Do I like being jumped on when I'm walking my kid
around the Botanical Gardens? Do I think that's fair? I don't.
But I am available to promote my films. I've never been a De Niro who won't do
press. Even though I've been accused of it a thousand times, I've never tried
to control a press conference or junket with what you can and can't ask about.
You angered George Clooney when you bagged him for doing ads.
I hear he's very angry. But why, George? I didn't actually put you down, I just
stated a fact. You didn't want everyone to know? Hmm. I think a public endorsement
is going to get people's attention, Georgie. There's very little I can do about
He responded by accusing you of using your movie career to personally endorse
But I've been doing it all my life. My first record came out in 1981. I'm not
saying my first record was any good. I think I'm only really starting to come
into my own as a songwriter.
Cinderella Man got excellent reviews but disappointing box office. Did that worry
I'm yet to have a conversation with somebody who says to me, ``I didn't like
the movie because of this and this.'' We really enjoyed making the movie and
we know people are going to be talking to us about it in 20 years. It's just
unfortunate it didn't have the right timing. I think it's the best film Ron Howard
has made, and I like Ron Howard films.
You criticised your co-star, Craig Bierko, for being unprepared after he suggested
you had treated him coldly while method acting.
I was kind of offended when I read that article because it made me out to be
cold and distant, and you couldn't possibly talk to another person on that movie
who would say that. I notice he hasn't said it since. I've never espoused method
acting. When I talk about total immersion in a character, I'm talking about between
"action'' and "cut''.
I think it's a trap for young actors. If you're going to do a really extreme
scene, it might help to be awake all night, but is it the type of scene for which
you're going to need your mind to work for you? Then it's probably better you
get some sleep and put on a different shade of make-up that will give you the
You're talking to me now after 27 feature films. I didn't know what it was about
when I started. I've learnt as I've gone along.
Where do you feel most at home?
On the farm. That's where my parents are, my brother's there, and that's where
my cows are. Getting up before the sun comes up, watching the mist dissipate
across the valley. That's the bee's knees, mate.
How are you going to make sure your son, Charlie, grows up with the values you
It's going to be very difficult. One of the things is being very specific about
where he's schooled. It's an ongoing conversation between Danielle (Spencer)
and I. I'm a little concerned about it, or greatly concerned about it. I think
it's going to come from the two of us, but also his school. I don't want to put
him in a place where he feels he has to compete with people too early. If and
when he decides he's a competitive person, that's all well and good. I'd rather
he went to school in a rural environment where the most important thing is whether
you have a pony.
If you were still a struggling actor, do you think you'd give up?
I put a timeline on it when I was about 18. I said if I haven't achieved something
significant by the age of 30, then I have to stop doing it and change careers,
and by 30 I'd made seven or eight feature films and won two AFI awards. I was
sitting in LA on my 30th birthday and I thought, OK, this is significant enough,
even though I was still in a lot of debt.
How could you have been in debt?
Saying no to things I didn't believe in, not just doing any old job, but also
taking financial risks. Going to Cannes in 1991 with Proof because I knew they
really wanted some support, but there was no budget to send me so I had to borrow
money. I borrowed a lot of money to finance travel to places so I could be in
a situation where I might increase my chances of getting work.
Your organic beef has just hit restaurants. How's farming going?
Initially I didn't really want to kill any cattle, but you go through this stage
where you realise it's a privilege to have cattle land. It's extremely hypocritical
of me because I'm a meat eater, but I didn't want to kill my cows.
Will you slaughter one yourself?
No. Don't think so. That's not my thing. I've never been that kind of person.
But of course, I'm aggressive and barbaric!
Russell Crowe and the
Ordinary Fear of God performs at the Australia Day Live concert at Canberra's
Parliament House on Wednesday at 6.30pm. Channel 10 will broadcast the event.