Russell Crowe Says Actors Expecting Comic Book Movies to Be ‘Life-Changing Events’ Are ‘Here for the Wrong Reasons’: ‘These Are Jobs. Here’s Your Role, Play the Role’

Russell Crowe is no stranger to comic book movies. He played Superman’s biological father Jor-El in Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel,” joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Zeus in “Thor: Love and Thunder” and soon will appear as Kraven’s estranged father in Sony’s “Kraven the Hunter.” So when British GQ recently asked the Oscar winner about his experience making superhero movies in light of Dakota Johnson saying “Madame Web” felt like art “made by a committee,” he playfully laughed off the idea that making such films is in any way deep.

“I don’t want to make any comments to what anybody else might have said or what their experience is, but… you’re bringing out the impish quality of my humor. [Laughs.] You’re telling me you signed up for a Marvel movie, and some fucking universe for cartoon characters… and you didn’t get enough pathos?” Crowe said in response. “Not quite sure how I can make this better for you. It’s a gigantic machine, and they make movies at a certain size…these are jobs. You know: here’s your role, play the role. If you’re expecting this to be some kind of life-changing event, I just think you’re here for the wrong reasons.”

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Crowe acknowledged that making superhero movies “can be challenging” as it requires working opposite green screens where you have “to convince yourself of a lot more than just the internal machinations of your character. But for anything to be… and you can’t make this a direct comment on her because I don’t know her and I don’t know what she went through, and the fact that you can have a shit experience on a film… Yeah, you can.”

“But is that the Marvel process? I’m not sure you can say that,” Crowe continued. “I haven’t had a bad experience. I mean [on ‘Thor’], ok, it’s a Marvel movie, but it’s Taika Waititi’s world, and it was just a gas every day, being silly. And then, with JC Chandor on ‘Kraven,’ I’m just bringing a little weight to the circumstances, so the young actors have got an actor they can bounce off. Going to work with JC was fun. You know, so many of these directors have a certain skill level – freaking genius people.”

Johnson gave her original comments during a Bustle interview in which she admitted that she wasn’t surprised that “Madame Web” was such a critical and commercial failure earlier this year.

“It’s so hard to get movies made, and in these big movies that get made — and it’s even starting to happen with the little ones, which is what’s really freaking me out — decisions are being made by committees, and art does not do well when it’s made by committee,” Johnson said at the time. “Films are made by a filmmaker and a team of artists around them. You cannot make art based on numbers and algorithms. My feeling has been for a long time that audiences are extremely smart, and executives have started to believe that they’re not. Audiences will always be able to sniff out bullshit. Even if films start to be made with AI, humans aren’t going to fucking want to see those.”

Crowe’s next superhero movie, “Kraven the Hunter,” opens in theaters Dec. 13 from Sony. Head over to British GQ’s website to read the actor’s latest profile.

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