By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros. Pictures
Body of Lies
Russell Crowe is one of those shapeshifter actors. He can be a ripped Gladiator or a puffy Insider. In Body of Lies, he packed back on the weight to play a guy orchestrating missions in the war on terror from the comfort of his home.
Crowe Goes Big for Body of Lies
"It’s a matter of choosing a sedentary lifestyle and that’s what I do when I want to change things up," said Crowe. "I do enjoy the fact that I’ve gone through periods of time when they’re isn’t any control. You’re not looking at the menu going, 'hmm.' You go 'whatever tickles my fancy' so that’s cool. It really is for me, for my metabolism, it's that. I just don’t exercise. As soon as we started the movie I was actually at the beginning at the place I wanted to be so I’d ride my bike to set everyday and all of that sort of stuff because I wanted to stay at a certain point."
Most of Crowe's scenes are delivered with a cell phone headset, however Crowe is a pro at doing his work in a vacuum. "It's the same as if you're doing a CGI film and you're supposed to be floating in a flock of black ravens. In fact most of the time when you're on a film set what you see in the audience has nothing to do with the experience of the actor. So you've always got to be shutting off things that are going to affect your focus and all that sort of stuff. It's the same sort of thing where you just zero in on the phone call."
Body of Lies
Body of Lies
Crowe didn't even want to have his costar feed him lines. "Some guys try to attempt to do that thing of having both people on the phone at the same time, which is just utterly a waste of time. It's a waste of time, it's better off that you just do the groove by yourself. Then the next person, if you shot it first, the next person gets to hear where you were and so they will fold into that, or if you're doing it second it's the same thing, you listen to what they said and then you have a think about it."
On the other hand, director Ridley Scott usually puts Crowe in a real location. Some scenes in Body of Lies do send his character into the field.
"It's great and wonderful when it's there, but equally you can't rely on it because the next thing you do may have none of that canvas and you may have to run it all in your mind. It's the same thing we talked about before in having a telephone conversation with someone who's not on the other end of the line or doing something in a blue or green screen room where you've got to imagine everything that's around you that everybody else will see. So it's fantastic when you can walk onto a stage of that size, even half of the Coliseum that we built in Malta was better than not having a Coliseum there at all. So it goes both ways. It's fabulous when it works and when you can be in that place and time that the character is supposed to be in. But on the other side of that, being an actor, you can equally shoot Botswana for Texas. The game is a bit more ambiguous."