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How Wagner Informed Russell Crowe's "Acting Technique"

Written By The Wagnerian on Tuesday 28 April 2015 | 8:07:00 pm

At least we now know what is running through Crowe's mind
during all of those publicity shots
In an interview with "Yahoo Movies", Russell Crowe gives a film by film "insight" into how he prepares  himself for each role . No method acting here it would seem,. Although, we can suppose one would struggle to apply that school of acting technique to either the roles of a gladiator or a singing police inspector during the Paris uprising of 1832.

Turning to his "breakthrough", 1992 role in "Romper Stomper" he provides some interesting, if bewildering insights. For those that have not seen it, Romper Stomper follows the self destruction of a skinhead, neo-Nazi group in Melbourne. Think of it as a sort of "Before they were UKIP" documentary. drama. In this movie, Crowe plays "Hando" leader of said skinhead group.

And how did Crowe prepare for the role of a skinhead, neo-nazi thug? "...he remembers internalizing three different sounds simultaneously in his head: German composer Richard Wagner, soccer crowds, and plain white noise". He does not elaborate, whether he means the voice of Wagner through his writings,  Richard Burton's movie version or alternatively Wagner's music.

Says Crowe, “I look back at it now and I go, 'What the hell was I trying to achieve with that? But I had to fight through all that noise, so it kind of gave [him] a strange edge.”

So now we find that Wagner can be blamed not only for: the rise of the Nazis, the fall of civilization, the rise of civilisation, atheism, monotheism, mass genocide, communism, capitalism, the decline of classical music, the saving of classical music, social moral degeneracy, sexual freedom - among many other things -  but "ham acting". Will the horror ever end? Well, one assumes they cannot blame Wagner for Crowe's terrible singing in Les Misérables. Can they?

The full interview video can be found below.