Gladiator star Russell Crowe has opened up as to why he felt guilty about winning the Academy Award for best actor back in 2001.
While promoting new mystery thriller Unhinged recently, the Aussie recalled rewatching Ridley Scott's acclaimed drama in Rome not too long ago, and how "humbling" it was to think about how big a part it played in raising his profile and helping him land further roles.
"It was a humbling experience, man, because I'm watching it and so much changed in my life," he told TODAY reporter Richard Wilkins. "I got so many pats on the back, and, you know, I got some big awards and all that, and obviously that sort of stepped me up to a different level for quite some time.
"But I watched that movie, and it's a director's film. It was one of those moments of, 'Why did I get all the attention when the Academy Award belongs to Ridley Scott?'" he laughed. "It's funny because some days it feels so close, and other days it feels like another lifetime all together."
While Scott missed out on the best director accolade - having lost to Traffic helmer Steven Soderbergh - Gladiator won big on the night regardless, pocketing the gongs for Best Picture, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects and Best Costume Design.
Earlier this year, Crowe revealed that it wasn't always the film's intention to kill off his character Maximus in the end, and that he and Scott concluded that his epic 'My name is Maximus…' speech was "basically a suicide note," so it made no sense to have him survive.
"My joke used to be, 'Yeah, what does Maximus do? Does he end up running a f**king pizzeria by the Colosseum?' He has a singular purpose," he told Empire. "Which is to meet his wife in the afterlife and apologise for not being there for her. And that's it."
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