Russell Crowe Credits Sharon Stone with Making Him a Hollywood Star: 'Got a Lot to Thank Her For'
On Tuesday, the Unhinged actor, 56, appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers, when he shared that he wouldn't be the Hollywood A-lister he is today if not for Stone, 62, giving him an early opportunity in the 1990s.
Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Crowe made the leap from Australian entertainment to U.S. cinemas with Sam Raimi's 1995 western The Quick and the Dead, which starred Stone, Gene Hackman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Gary Sinise.
According to Crowe, Stone singlehandedly got him a part in landing him the breakthrough role.
"I used to say my theory of Los Angeles was you have to be careful because they will nice you to death," Crowe said. "They will nice you so much that you think everything's going to go well for you, and then you realize X amount of time later that you got nothing out of all that niceness."
"It took me probably about 18 months or more and literally hundreds and hundreds of meetings before I actually got an American gig," he added. "I only got it because Sharon Stone had seen a movie I was in."
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The actress, who played Ellen in the film, served as producer on The Quick and the Dead, and recommended Crowe to play Cort.
"She was kind of in a sword fight with the male producers on the film and she just put her foot down and said, 'I'm going to hire the person I want to hire as the love interest,'" Crowe recalled. "If it wasn't for her strength of commitment, I don't know how long it might have been before I got an American movie. I've got a lot to thank her for."
In 2000, Crowe would reach a new level of stardom with Gladiator, which went on to win five Academy Awards, including a Best Actor win for him. The actor, however, did not predict how much of a hit the epic would be when he first read an early script treatment.
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“Gladiator was a unique experience because the script that they had was so bad,” Crowe said during an appearance on The Tonight Show in June. “The producer didn’t know I’d actually already been able to get a copy, but the thing he said was, ‘I don’t want to send you the document we have because you won’t respond to it.’”
Crowe recalled that the producer continued: “‘But I want to encourage you to have a meeting with Ridley Scott and here’s the thing that I want you to think about: It’s 180 AD, you’re a Roman general and you’re being directed by Ridley Scott. Just think about that.'”
“Twenty years later people still talk about,” he added. “That doesn’t happen with every movie.”