Russell Crowe was born in 1964 on the southern tip of New Zealand's northern island. But to hear the actor tell it, he's hopscotched through the fabric of time, fighting with gladiators in ancient Rome, shooting his way through the ganglands of the Old West and sailing treacherous waters during the reign of Napoleon.
That's no bit of exaggeration in the eyes of Crowe, a guy who likes to do his own stunts and has a fondness for the period-action flick. Thus, in years past, he's shot back through time in "Gladiator," "3:10 to Yuma" and "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World." And now he's done it again with "Robin Hood," the retelling of the iconic story of the arrow-slinging defender of the common man.
"This is the sort of film that you hope for and then you wait for because you get to step into a completely different world," Crowe told MTV News. "You actually get to time travel.
"I've been on a beach and done a cavalry charge with 130 horses into 500 men," he continued, explaining one particularly harrowing scene that comes toward the film's end. "I've been there. That's not my imagination. That's real. I'm at full tilt with that horse, stretched out over his neck. If I make a mistake, it's gonna be carnage."
The possibility of catastrophe, so it seems, is vastly more appealing than the rather humdrum experience of playing a paunchy whistleblower ("The Insider"), a grizzly reporter ("State of Play") or even a schizophrenic math wiz ("A Beautiful Mind").
"It's definitely more fun," he said. "It's an incredible thing with the movie business. Every now and then you just get to experience something that is beyond you in contemporary life. It's much more fun. And people talk about, 'Hard work doing this, hard work doing that.' It's like, 'Please!' I'd be on a film set like that every day of the week if I could be."
Check out everything we've got on "Robin Hood."
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