Russell Crowe Takes Us Inside Robin Hood's Climactic Speech

'Robin's not a grandiose bloke,' Crowe says of his everyman character.

[movieperson id="14200"]Russell Crowe[/movieperson] gives good speech. Throw on a DVD of "Gladiator" or "Master and Commander" and see for yourself: The dude can give such a killer pep talk, he'll have you rising out of your La-Z-Boy to join whatever crusade he's hyping.

His rousing speech as the title character in "Robin Hood," however, was of an entirely different nature and required a sufficiently distinct approach on Crowe's part. Not that everyone around him, including director Ridley Scott, initially agreed with Crowe's plan.

"Robin's not a grandiose bloke," Crowe told MTV News. "Everybody around it was thinking that, 'You have to take this one to the bank, man. You have to nail it. This has got to be like the moment from "Gladiator" when you said such and such.' I was like, 'Well, he's not that guy.' That guy was a general. He's used to being in control and he can't help but stamp himself on a moment. Robin's just a bloke."

That is to say, Crowe's Robin Hood does not begin the film as some steal-from-the-rich-give-to-the-poor superhero. In fact, this Robin is more concerned with self-preservation than anything approaching public altruism. What changes him is falling in love with a woman — the ethereal Cate Blanchett as Maid Marion — and learning the secret history of his father. And so when it comes time for Robin to confront the nefarious King John, who's gone off on a quest to tax almost every last penny from his indigent subjects, Crowe brings a sort of everyman attitude to his speech.

"You've got to be real in this moment," he explained. "You are talking to a king, so you can only go so far. He's got to know his place. It's not interesting if he takes a contemporary attitude and goes, 'I don't f---ing care if you're a king.' You've got to stay in that pocket.

"Take the cape off him, take the mask, he's just a man," he added.

Check out everything we've got on "Robin Hood."

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