Thus Spake Maximus


The Will to Power Grievously outnumbered, kneeling and with hands bound, Russell Crowe in Gladiator slays five armed executioners. Russell Crowe later re-creates the spirit of this moment in the Colosseum, employing a tidy decapitation as his finale. For a coda, he spits.

“And what, then, would be the meaning of that madness out of which both tragic and comic art arose, the Dionysiac madness?” While shooting Mystery, Alaska in Alberta, Canada, Russell Crowe starts a bar fight. Following the Oscars, Russell Crowe allegedly pins a bartender to the wall at an L.A. pub to convey that, in fact, it is not yet closing time. A security camera outside a Sydney nightclub reportedly captures Russell Crowe igniting at least two multiparty brawls, in which he bites a man, kisses a man, punches a woman, rips a woman’s shirt, and slugs his own brother.

“Where does that synthesis of god and goat, the satyr, point?” Pedro Almodóvar on Russell Crowe: “There is something in Penelope Cruz that makes Russell Crowe mad. . . . His shameless bull-glance passes through my body and fixes on Penelope. . . . She treats with confidence and refinement Mr. Crowe, who assaults without dissimulation from the first moment.”

“A ‘god,’ if you will, but certainly only an entirely thoughtless and amoral artist-god.” From Time magazine: “A hard-drinking perfectionist, he got into brawls with villagers on one location and laid such waste to his rented villa in Morocco that the caretaker protested to [Ridley] Scott, saying, ‘He must leave! He is violating every tenet of the Koran!’ ”

Become What You Are, Part I In high school, Russell Crowe forms the presciently named band Roman Antix and later records several songs under the name Russ Le Roq, including “I Wanna Be Like Marlon Brando.”

“The Dionysian spirit of music . . . forces us to gaze into the horror of individual existence, yet without being turned to stone by the vision.” “Oh I am specific and I am cruel/Unpredictable/Your fool/Yeah/You treat me like chocolate/Just unwrap it/You treat me like chocolate/Just have at it.” From “You Treat Me Like Chocolate,” by 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, music and lyrics by Russell Crowe.

“Woman is essentially unpeaceful.” In Gladiator, a chained Maximus throttles former lover Lucilla; later they make out. In L.A. Confidential, Bud and Lynne shtup, then he beats her up; later they ride off to Arizona. At an Oscar party, Russell Crowe attempts quick time with Winona Ryder, occasioning the intervention of Matt Damon and security guards; later Matt and Winona break up.

Thus Spake Zarathustra From US Weekly: According to Sydney urban legend, “at the climactic moment of sex” Russell Crowe shouts, “RUSSELL! CROWE!”

Become What You Are, Part II “He makes me want to be a farm wife. I would go to the outback, spend the rest of my life barefoot and pregnant, and he would, whatever, push the plow and herd the cows. He’d never wear a shirt. He makes me want to cook dinner.” —an East Village fan

The Birth of Tragedy “He reminds me of myself as a young actor.” —Sir Anthony Hopkins

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