Crowe discovers life from a politician's perspective
RUSSELL Crowe's acting career has been anything but bland.
Last year alone be starred in rapper RZA's kung-fu flick and the international hit movie musical Les Miserables.
This month, he plays corrupt New York City Mayor Nicholas Hostetler in the crime drama Broken City.
The Oscar-winner talks about his first lead role as a politician and about being a bit of a father figure on set.
Q: What jumped out about this role?
A: Well, I had never played the Mayor of New York before (laughs). And I had never gone into, unless I am forgetting something, this kind of political story from the perspective of being the politician. I mean, I had done stuff like play a journalist when you are pursuing politicians, but I had never actually been the politician. I just liked the bare-faced corruptibility of this man.
Q: Did this open your eyes more in terms of dealing with politics?
A: Well, I think it has been probably quite a difficult period of time the last 40 or 50 years in terms of the average person's relationship with their politicians and the people in public office. But the more intense media scrutiny gets, the more difficult it is to actually be fully effective in politics. So a guy like I am playing in this movie, Nick Hostetler, recalls a different age almost when the power of the position was a little bit more blunt and could be used, and that is how he operates.
Q: What was it like working with director Allen Hughes?
A: It was very interesting too working with Allen Hughes on his first project without his brother Albert. The Hughes brothers have made quite a bunch of movies together over the past 20 years. It was interesting to work with him and go through this transition that I went through just recently, where suddenly all the directors I am working with are younger than me.
Q. Do you think of yourself as a father figure, when you talk about younger directors and giving advice?
A. Yeah there has always been an aspect of my job which is you are working for a fella and what they are looking for is a series of lieutenants; whether it's the director of photography or the art director or whatever job it happens to be. When you are working closely with the director and playing the lead role it is one of the jobs you take on as well. Quite often I joke that I become the entertainment director on the cruise ship, to make sure that the cast and the crew are enjoying what they are doing. If you are not loving it, then it makes it very difficult to get up at this time in the morning and get your job done (laughs). It is really important that you have positive energy on the set. Allen Hughes was really responsive to the discussions of how things could be achieved.
Broken City is currently in cinemas.
- Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright.
- Director: Allen Hughes
- Rating: MA 15+