The M Interview: Russell Crowe is Mr Nice Guy
Actor Russell Crowe gets rid of his temperamental antics in time for new movie The Nice Guys
For Russell Crowe, the days of throwing tantrums and telephones seem to be over. And so are the days of difficult interviews.
There was a time when a journalist had no idea what mood he would be in and how the session would turn out.
But it was a happy, light-hearted Crowe who walked into the room at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills to talk about his new movie The Nice Guys, which opens here tomorrow.
In the buddy cop comedy set in Los Angeles in 1977, Crowe plays an enforcer for hire who teams up with Ryan Gosling's down-on-his-luck private investigator to search for a missing girl.
Russell Crowe (lef) and Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys. PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
The bodies pile up as they discover that other bad guys are also looking for her and they stumble upon a criminal conspiracy at the highest levels of government.
Here, the 52-year-old Australian actor chats about his chemistry with Gosling, his preference for Twitter and the relationship status update with his wife...
How did you and Ryan get along?
We actually had a little ice breaker meeting about two years before.
I had seen him in three particular movies - Drive, Crazy, Stupid, Love and The Ides Of March - one after the other and I thought he was something pretty special. So I wanted to talk to him about a project.
I call him and I go, 'Hi Ryan, Russell Crowe', and he goes 'Oh, okay, Mr Crowe, I suppose I should have been expecting this call. I am so sorry for stealing all your s*** for the last 10 years!' (laughs)
So when a bloke is that charming, you are going to easily get along.
We share an absurd sense of humour and he quite literally made me laugh every single day of working.
But he is serious about his job, don't get me wrong. He asks lots of questions and he examines things and he's a student of cinema. And just so prepared to be brave with his decisions and jump off the cliff every time somebody says 'action'.
DUO: Russell Crowe (left) and Ryan Gosling joking during a news conference for the film “The Nice Guys” at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France on May 15, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS
How much are you into social media? You actually have a Twitter account.
Twitter I specifically focus on.
I am not on Instagram or Facebook.
With Twitter, you can get rid of a lot of stuff that happens, where somebody states a particular thing or even that you are attached to a particular project... You get a direct conduit to your own audience that doesn't rely on somebody else's editorial process.
It was announced that you are going to play Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde in the 2017 action-adventure horror film The Mummy, a reboot of The Mummy franchise, alongside Tom Cruise.
I was totally flattered to get that particular offer. Tom was an active movie star when I was still a kid working in theatre. So I think it will be a great ride for people when they go to see that film.
But just the simple thing of getting to work with Tom and getting to maybe plant the seeds for the expansion of the character that I am playing into other stories, that is an interesting thing.
What advice would you give to young people in show business, especially about managing fame?
I try to make light of it, really. Because I know that possibly my mistake is allowing that pressure that comes. Particularly in the period between 2001 to 2003, things got really intense and overwhelming. And ultimately, my response to that was to just disappear for 12 months...
But I think it's hard. Every individual is going to go through that onrush of attention in their own way.
Ultimately, happiness is a choice and I choose to be grateful for all of the wonderful things my job has provided for me and my family.
Will you be getting back with your wife, Australian actress-singer Danielle Spencer?
We have been separated four years now and our focus is on keeping an energy around our (two sons) where they feel safe and secure and that's what we do.
So we communicate quite regularly and all that, but we are definitely living completely separate lives.
The M Interview: Ryan Gosling shows off his funny side
Ryan Gosling is a funny guy, though you have not seen much of that side of him on-screen with the intense outsider roles he seems to gravitate towards.
But in The Nice Guys, the Canadian actor gets to show off his comedic skills.
As he has mentioned in past interviews, he has an Elvis impersonator uncle, so those genes are definitely part of the family heritage.
Even though Russell Crowe and Gosling had not met before, they bonded at once.
Gosling told M: "I obviously am a big fan and had grown up being influenced by him, and I always hoped we would work together.
"I never imagined it would be in a movie with a giant smoking talking bee, you know. I thought it would probably be a drama, but this was a nice surprise.
"It was nice for both of us because it was new to both of us."
The 35-year-old actor had a field day playing a clumsy detective who constantly injured himself by falling on his nose or breaking his arm, evoking shades of Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau from The Pink Panther movies.
"I have been a big fan of broad comedy and this felt like an opportunity to take that as far as we could," Gosling said.
He fondly brought up the aforementioned Elvis impersonator uncle.
Gosling said: "We were living very normal boring lives and then he showed up in a white jumpsuit and said that he was going to be an Elvis impersonator and he'd like us all to be in his act.
"Life got really fun for a little while. For about six months we were in this act, the whole family together, and it was amazing. And then suddenly he stopped and everything went back to being normal and boring again and I thought, 'Can we do that again?'"
Despite the movie's title, the two lead characters are not all that nice.
So what did Gosling think a nice guy should be?
He shot back jokingly: "Because I'm Canadian, I don't really have to think about it. It's just the way we are."
While he does not want to say much about Amada, his newborn second daughter with US actress-girlfriend Eva Mendes, he said: "It's just heaven, you know. I feel so lucky. I can't believe having a daughter has really changed my life and it's become better than I ever could have imagined."
On his first-born Esmeralda, who is 1½ years old, he said: "She has a ferocious mind so it takes a lot of energy to keep up with her. She's so fascinated by everything."
Upcoming projects for Gosling include the remake of Blade Runner and the musical La La Land, again cementing how attracted he is to diverse roles.
"It's just one of those things that you get a feeling. It's like a song comes on and you want to dance and you don't know why.
"I read (The Nice Guys) the day I got it, and the next morning I said yes because I just knew that I should do this."