Russell Crowe calls his ‘s--t ton of regrets’ ‘badges of honor’

The 'Gladiator' star also admitted he has a 'tinge of jealousy' over the movie's seque

Russell Crowe may have a "s--t ton of regrets," but the 60-year-old Oscar winner also knows he’s lived a wonderful life. 

"I’ve been unreasonably happy for most of my life," the "Sleeping Dogs" actor told GQ in a new interview. 

"I know that bothers some people, but that’s just not my problem," he said. "I pursue creatively and artistically what I want to do, and I have done that for probably about 35 years, you know? I do it unapologetically. And my choices are always freaking people out."

He said people questioned why he made 2012's "The Man With the Iron Fists," directed by RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan. 


Russell Crowe smiling

Russell Crowe says he's "been unreasonably happy for most of my life." (Anthony Harvey/FilmMagic))

"I was like, ‘Well, I really believe in Bobby Diggs, RZA, I definitely know that he’s got a director’s brain and that he understands film, and when else am I ever gonna get to play a character like this?’" 

But Crowe also admitted that he has a lot of regrets and doesn’t understand how some people can claim they don’t have any in their lives. 

"’Really? Not one single thing you ever did. Right? You’re so f-----g perfect.’ I’ve got a s--t ton of regrets. An angry word, an overreaction, a missed opportunity for friendship – lots of things like that," he told the outlet. "But all of those things are in perspective, because I’ve done lots of really cool s--t too. My regrets are, in a way, badges of honour. Having the ability to have that introspection and go, ‘You know, the other day you were a f-----g d--k, mate. Do your best not to be a f-----g d--k like that again.’"


The actor, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Maximus in "Gladiator," also told Kyle Meredith on his podcast this week that he has a tinge of melancholy" and "jealousy" over seeing another actor step into the lead role of the movie’s sequel 24 years later.

"I reflect back, the age I was when I made that film and all the things that came after it and the doors that that particular movie opened for me. So, there’s definitely a tinge – and this is just being purely honest – a tinge of melancholy, tinge of jealousy, because I remember a life when I had tendons," he laughed. 

Russell Crowe in Gladiator

Russell Crowe in 2000's "Gladiator."  (Universal/Getty Images)


And while he said he’s a "little uncomfortable" with the sequel and some of the character arcs he feels don’t make sense in "their moral journey," "I’m dead, and I have no say in what gets done," he said, referring to the death of his character in the first film.

"Gladiator II," which is also directed by Ridley Scott, is expected to be released this fall and stars Paul Mescal. 

Crowe elaborated on his injuries in his interview with GQ, published Thursday, saying, "I do carry a lot of injuries. Over time, you start to feel it."

Russell Crowe on the set of A Beautiful Mind

Russell Crowe on the set of 2001's "A Beautiful Mind" with director Ron Howard.  (Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

He continued: "I’ve got no cartilage in my big toes, because the sports that I played were all lateral movement sports – tennis, rugby and cricket, where you’re sprinting from a cold start – on top of the fight sequences, where sometimes you’ve got to make a very extreme sudden move to save yourself in a situation where something’s gone wrong."

He said he has heel fasciitis, shin splints, bone-marrow edemas under both knees and "all manner of things" going on with his back. 

placeholder"I’ve got ribs that just pop off the spine if I put them under too much pressure," he said. "I’ve had two operations on my left shoulder, but now that shoulder is so full of arthritis that for me to get back to a place of comfort, they’ve basically gotta cut in, take the whole humeral head out, they’ve gotta chop it in half, stick carbon fibre in there and sew it back up, and there’s a recovery period of 11 months. F--k off."

Crowe said that every one of his problems relates to "something that went wrong on a film set. I’ve only got one scar on my body that isn’t related to film. I jumped over a fence when I was about 14, and somebody had smashed a Coke bottle. I ended up jumping right onto it and I had to get stitches."

Russell Crowe with his then-wife and two sons

Russell Crowe with his then-wife Danielle Spencer and their two children, Charles and Tennyson, in 2010.  (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)


But he said all of his injuries were worth it, because he liked doing his own stunts when he was younger. 

"I remember back in the early ’90s I was talking to some older American guys, and this one guy said, ‘Look, you see that guy over there who’s dressed exactly the same as you? He’s here so you don’t have to roll in the dirt for six or seven hours a day,’" he told GQ. "And I’m like, ‘But I’m playing the character, so I’m gonna be the one rolling in the dirt.’ As you get older, you realize they were just trying to point out that maybe it’s better to keep your own tendons. Life’s easier with tendons."

But he also says he never expected to be in the place he is at his age. 

Russell Crowe singing on stage

Russell Crowe performs with his band Indoor Garden Party.  (Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images)

"I work constantly. I'm always turning down more things than I can do. I even sort of have to walk away from some things that I’m quite interested in, just because I can’t fit them in, so I look at that and go ‘There’s just no way in the world that I would have thought at any stage of my life growing up that at the age of 60 I would be in that position."


Russell Crowe with girlfriend Britney Theriot

Crowe is dating actress Britney Theriot. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Crowe has been a musician since he was a teenager and told GQ that fans can learn a lot more about him from his music than from any interviews he does. 

"And songs have a very strange way of catching up to you," he said. "Or you catch up to it. You can write a song about something that then becomes a truth in your life."

He also explained that he once wrote an "entire album" for his then-wife Danielle Spencer in an effort to save their marriage. 

Crowe and Spencer were married from 2003 until 2018, and they share two sons. He is now dating actress Britney Theriot. 

Russell Crowe waves standing next to then wife Danielle Spencer

Russell Crowe with his then-wife Danielle Spencer in 2010. He says he wrote an "entire album" for her in an effort to save their marriage.  (FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP via Getty Images)

"That entire album is me talking to my [now ex-] wife, saying, ‘We can’t get divorced. What are you doing?’ Pretty much every song that I wrote for that album – ‘Too Far Gone’, ‘Sadness of a Woman’, ‘Love is Impossible’, ‘Disappeared’ – that’s all about my marriage," Crowe said of his 2011 album "The Crowe/Doyle Songbook Vol III." "And I was wondering if having her sing those words, if she would see through them and understand what I was trying to communicate to her." 

Crowe said he has more than one movie on the horizon after just wrapping "Nuremberg" and is also planning to go on tour with his band, Indoor Garden Party.

"I’m very grateful for where I am. I’ve had a full-blown creative life, and I’m very appreciative of the situation," he said. 

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