Director Claire Peploe speaks on Russell Crowe

The New Zealand-born actor, Russell Crowe (Romper Stomper, Proof), comes in for a casting session. In five minutes, I'm convinced he is the right person [for Ross]. He says he is leaving the next day, and if I want to see him again I should join him at a restaurant called La Poubelle where he will be with Nicole Kidman. In spite of being slightly irritated by his cheeky manner, I of course go. In a beautiful voice and distinctly antipodean accent, Russell says he would like to give his character a very regional accent. Westchester county? After dinner we go to his agent's house where he is staying. Russell gives me a drink and takes me to his bedroom--where he hands me a gun. He wants me to feel the weight. I'm impressed. As he demonstrates how quick he is on the draw (he's shooting The Quick and the Dead), I try to explain that Bridget is a sensitive person with a deep loathing for macho men and has actor approval. Russell decides to visit her on the East Coast where she is working.

Two weeks later. Receive a call from Bridget who says she had a meeting with Russell and that Russell is Ross. I'm glad: hes a fantastic actor.

-excerpted from Sight and Sound, May 1996, diary of Claire Peploe