Russell Crowe is one of those names that's on "the list."

That's the list of all the people who are supposed to be tough interviews, and when I look at that list, I get nervous.  I've sat across from some of those names, and they have lived up to their reputations.  I've shot interviews that I couldn't use, and I've had encounters I refused to write up simply because I thought they cast the subject of the interview in such a negative light.

Thankfully, Russell Crowe wasn't what I expected at all.

It helps that I kept running into him all day long leading up to the interview, and he was in a loose, approachable mood.  He was making jokes and chatting with people.  It wasn't what I expected from him at all, and so by the time I walked in and sat down, I was comfortable just talking to him.  We spoke off-camera for a moment about what may still be one of my favorite performances of his, "Romper Stomper," and then jumped right in.

What really makes this one a keeper is the last story he tells about Alan Doyle, the musician who Crowe suggested for the part of Allan A'Dayle, one of the Merry Men.  When you see how much Crowe lights up while telling stories about Doyle, you get a sense of the guy his collaborators talk about, but who we rarely get a chance to see in interviews.

Check it out and you'll see what I mean:

 

 

I may not have loved the movie, but Crowe strikes me as a class act.  His name's off the list as far as I'm concerned, and I look forward to interviewing him again in the future.

"Robin Hood" opens in theaters on Friday, May 14.

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You can e-mail me at drew@hitfix.com or follow me on Twitter, where I'm DrewAtHitFix.