Russell Crowe is speaking up about a negative experience he had during “L.A. Confidential”
The Oscar winner alleged that the studio behind the 1997 neo-noir film — distributed by Warner Bros., and produced by Regency and The Wolper Organization — stopped paying his hotel and rental car bills in an effort to make Crowe walk away from the movie.
“A few days into the rehearsals, the studio stopped paying the bill at the hotel, and they stopped paying for my rental car,” Crowe told Vanity Fair. “The studio didn’t want me to be in that role. They wanted, I think, Sean Penn and Robert De Niro in the film or something. Things that they could quantify and understand.”
“L.A. Confidential” went on to receive nine Oscar nominations including Best Picture, winning Best Adapted Screenplay and landing Crowe’s co-star Kim Basinger a Best Supporting Actress win.
The “Gladiator” alum continued, “There was probably a four or five-day period there where I was leaving the hotel of a morning by going down the back stairs because I knew the manager of the hotel was waiting for me in the foyer to ask when the bill was going to be paid.”
He added, “If I paused and said, ‘I’m not turning up to work,’ [the studio] would have taken that opening to get me out of the movie.”
“L.A. Confidential” novelist James Ellroy recently criticized the film adaptation, calling Crowe and co-star Basinger “impotent” actors onscreen.
“People love the movie ‘L.A. Confidential,'” Ellroy said during the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. “I think it’s turkey of the highest form. I think Russell Crowe and Kim Basinger are impotent. The director [Curtis Hanson] died, so now I can disparage the movie.”
And “L.A. Confidential” isn’t the only film that Crowe butted heads with early on. The “Pope’s Exorcist” actor revealed that he almost quit 2000 film “Gladiator” due to an “absolute rubbish” script early on.
“At the core of what we were doing was a great concept but the script, it was rubbish, absolute rubbish. And it had all these sorts of strange sequences,” Crowe said in the same Vanity Fair video. “I did think a couple times, ‘Maybe my best option is just to get on a plane and get out of here.’ It was my continued conversations with [director] Ridley Scott that sort of gave me faith.”