When one hears the word Hollywood, the first thing that resonates in your head is usually the glamor and stunning physiques of its stars. But there is always an exception to the rule. And that’s where it comes into play. Russell Crowe. His physical transformation in recent years goes far beyond the demands of the script.. Although it is true that on occasions his films have required a drastic change, in reality his image, today far removed from when he began as an actor, has much more to do with his way of seeing life and how you want to live it. A space where stereotypes and clichés have no place and are not allowed.
At the beginning of the new millennium, around the year 2000, in addition to the supposed fear of the possible end of the world, there was something, or rather, someone, that also made many tremble. Yes, it was Russell Crowe, that New Zealand actor who had shyly crept into our homes and onto movie screens with films like LA Confidential either The dilemma. That boy with the sad look and serious appearance was especially striking. It was shortly after, with Gladiator first and An amazing mind after, that his acting skills and, why not say it, his physical attractiveness, made him a world star. Overnight we had Russell on almost every cover of every newspaper, weekly or movie magazine and TV entertainment piece that came along. For being, even he was considered one of the sexiest men in the world according to the magazine People.
An image that is far from the one it shows two decades later, and by its own decision. Although his first years in the mecca of cinema were a coming and going of photo sessions and glamorous walks on the red carpets of premieres and awards, all that has been reduced to just appearances and a look that has nothing to do with that protagonist Hollywood book masculine. Reviewing his evolution, we can say that for a few years he tried to meet expectations, yes, very reluctantly. Since 2015, his physical image has been more on everyone’s lips than ever because of his different changes. What if the tummy, what if the long hair, what if the beard, the extra kilos…
Her transformation has garnered more attention and headlines for how she looks than what she does. When in 2016 he was one of the protagonists of the tape two good guyshe had to gain 35 kilos. And from there and due to the difficulty of getting rid of all that extra weight, her image has been in the spotlight day in and day out. Although she managed to shed a few of those kilos, he never fully reached his original weight. It also doesn’t seem like it’s something that has taken away his sleep. Gone is that muscular Máximo Décimo Meridio of Gladiator to give way to a look very different from what is expected of the prototype of the movie heartthrob. It also doesn’t help that he doesn’t give a damn about it, he even feels comfortable in that skin.
His reaction to so much attention to his roundness was immediate and was very much in the style of Russell, that is, with seconds and all the black, sometimes sharp, sense of humor that characterizes him. In 2017, just one year after this famous film that forced him to radically change his body, some images of the Oscar-winning actor playing rugby came to light, his other great passion that led him in 2006 to be the co-owner of the Australian team South Sydney Rabbitohs. A fan page echoed them and the networks exploded. Everyone thought, including the occasional celebrity, not exactly well. In fact, the famous communicator Howard Stern did not hesitate to mock when he saw the photos on his famous radio show. “I can lift Howard with my legs, he can’t do the same“, he defended himself Russell ironically on his Twitter account, where the 58-year-old interpreter interacts very often. Until the famous medium page sixpure and hard space dedicated to the stars, they asked for a minute of silence for those photos where he looked plump.
Absolutely oblivious to what is said about him, Russell cares little whether or not he is a victim of the famous body shamingknown as the most absolute and cruel criticism of that image that does not meet the expected canons. He himself has said it without complexes, that of fame and looking good does not go with him, much less looking like others expect. He doesn’t have the nuclear white teeth of his peers, nor does he dress in the latest fashion, quite the opposite. And the more they attack him, the more rebel with a cause. There are things that are above that that require him, for example, his family life with his children, Charlie and Tennyson. “Even in the long periods of success in my life, my main goal was, once the work was done, to return home. Disappear and, more recently, be with my children“he told the newspaper The Guardian in 2014.
Russell also doesn’t say what everyone wants to hear or understand being politically correct. If we start looking at the newspaper library, Russell has an extensive resume of outbursts, and not only because of what others may say about his weight. In 2002, after winning a BAFTA for playing mathematician John Forbes Nash in An amazing mindhad a strong run-in with the director of the ceremony, Malcolm Gerrie, for cutting off his speech. “You are a fucking piece of shit. I’ll make sure you never work in Hollywood“, shouted him. “I feel very little remorse for what I said. Thinking about it coldly, I think I was a little more vehement than I would have liked to be.”, he said during the Sydney premiere of his film An amazing mind.
And so a few more anecdotes, not exactly pleasant. Back in 2005 he was arrested in New York for throwing a phone in the face of a Mercer Hotel receptionist, unable to locate his wife by this means. That rebellion or bad boy image, especially from the beginning, has been, in some way, his way of swimming against the tide and rebelling against what was expected of him. It doesn’t seem like he really wanted to be categorized as a good boy or as a sex symbol.
As his career evolved and grew stronger, he moved further and further away from romantic ‘handsome man looking for a girl’ roles. This same one, on the occasion of his new tape Thor: love and thunderAlongside Natalie Portman, Taika Waititi and Chris Hemsworth, we saw again a strong, bushy Russell with a white Santa Claus beard for his role as Zeus. Come on, unrecognizable and totally oblivious to what he was and represented years ago. Again, his physical appearance occupied a few pages of the written press and pieces on television programs. He overshadowed his own character.
Precisely during this year, he was seen with Chris and Elsa Pataky on a fun boat ride. The snapshot spread like wildfire in networks and caused all kinds of reactions, mostly negative, about the actor and his condition. “I can’t believe that’s the man who made Gladiator“one follower wrote. Others, on the other hand, focused more on his good work in the adventure film and described him as a “legend” actor above all else. His gray beard is already a classic, sometimes shorter, sometimes longer depending on his characters and what he wants, it can be said that he goes with the lot.
So much so that in his last job, The Pope’s Exorcist (2023), where he plays Gabriele Amorth, the first priest to practice exorcism in Rome, he has not taken it off at all and combines it perfectly with the religious outfit. The curious thing about all this is that her image is far from that of Amorth in real life since he did not wear a beard at all. Everything contrary.
The million dollar question is, would it have been Russell himself who asked for the beard to stay where it is for the Sony tape? That is an enigma that we cannot solve at the moment, what is a fact is that this accessory has already become a hallmark of the actor, not only in his personal life but also in his professional life. Let’s remember that he also wore it in the movie The Georgetown Project (2020).
It was always clear he neither can nor wants to change to fit into that role of hollywood prince charming where everything seems perfect but in reality it is not. His cinematographic choices were always risky, but in recent years they are much more so, both physically and in content. He cares little, to say nothing, of what they cross out and he lives outside all that media noise. His life, as reflected in his networks, is an ode to rugby, to sunsets, to delicious meals, to his family and, why not say it, also to his film characters, of whom he always has something to tell more beyond what the others rave about.