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Russell Crowe — the real Gladiator: threatened to kill a producer

By Staff

Per the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph, Russell Crowe threatened to kill a producer while shooting “Gladiator.”

Arguing with producer Branko Lustig, 77, over pay for his assistants on the film, Crowe is to have said “I will kill you with my bare hands.”

Such words didn’t fall lightly on Lustig’s shoulders – he was a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Following the feud, Lustig phoned DreamWorks head Steve Spielberg and gave him his resignation.

Apparently, Crowe was also a diva about his signature line in the film: “And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.” After Ridley Scott pulled the mule to water, Crowe still thought it was a rancid piece of dialogue and told the director, “I’m the greatest actor in the world and I can make even —- sound good.”

The account of the spat is covered in the book “The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company called DreamWorks”, written by Nicole LaPorte.

“Gladiator” went on to win Oscars for Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe. Crowe will next be seen in “Robin Hood,” his fifth collaboration with director Ridley Scott.

Crowe has a reputation for his temper. In 2005, he was arrested and booked for assaulting a New York hotel employee.

In response to the latest claims the actor’s spokesman in Australia told the Sydney Morning Herald: “I’ve been told that Amazon already has the book discounted. Go figure.”

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