“The last time I got a Golden Globe nomination was in 2005. My eldest boy was one year old and my youngest not even on the horizon. As my sons are now nearly 16 and 13 I’d like to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press for making me feel young again,” he said.
“I was surrounded by a spectacular cast. My personal gratitude and deep affection go out to Naomi Watts, Sienna Miller, Annabelle Wallis, Aleksa Palladino, Seth MacFarlane, Simon McBurney and Josh Stamberg among others who made a complex and difficult job so much easier.”
While he already sounds like a winner, it remains to be seen if he will walk away with the gong in Hollywood on January 6 next year, and he’s up against some impressive competition for the Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, with Christopher Abbott (Catch-22), Sacha Baron Cohen (The Spy), Jared Harris (Chernobyl) and Sam Rockwell (Fosse/Verdon).
But Crowe is certainly one of the front runners.
His role in the series and its overwhelmingly positive reception could be seen as something of a comeback for Crowe, who has not enjoyed this sort of acclaim in years, despite helming some seriously ambitious projects, from The Water Diviner to Noah.
Indeed, you have to give Crowe credit for surviving in a game obsessed with youth and beauty.
At 55, his Hollywood contemporaries are the likes of Brad Pitt, also 55, George Clooney, 58, Robert Downey Junior, 54, and Matt Damon, 48. But trying to visualise any of those actors taking on a role like Ailes, not to mention wearing the fat suit, it seems unlikely.
Indeed all those other actors are still very much hitched to the Hollywood heartthrob image that has been cultivated around their identities. But not Crowe, though whether that is by design or default is not clear.
Sure, he’s had some awkward run ins over his poetry, hotel staff and telephones, and perhaps his musical prowess has not been, ahem, appreciated as much as he might have liked, but there is no arguing that Crowe – as an actor – has given some extraordinary performances and chosen to play a litany of diverse characters.
Noah, Superman’s dad Jor-El, Javert in Les Miserables, Robin Hood, troubled mathematical genius and Nobel Prize winner John Nash, World heavyweight champion Jim Braddock and even a fictional Nazi skinhead named Hando.
A few years back Crowe got into strife during an interview with the Australian Women’s Weekly when he dared venture into the way actors of different genders and ages approach roles in Hollywood.
While his comments about female actors were at best clumsy, there is no denying the element of truth when it comes to actors of any gender, ageing and the roles they choose to play as their careers go on.
“The best thing about the industry I’m in – movies – is that there are roles for people in all different stages of life,” he said. “To be honest, I think you’ll find that the woman who is saying that [the roles have dried up] is the woman who at 40, 45, 48, still wants to play the ingénue, and can’t understand why she’s not being cast as the 21-year-old.
“Meryl Streep will give you 10,000 examples and arguments as to why that’s bullshit, so will Helen Mirren, or whoever it happens to be. If you are willing to live in your own skin, you can work as an actor. If you are trying to pretend that you’re still the young buck when you’re my age, it just doesn’t work.”
Go Russ, Go!
Andrew Hornery is a senior journalist and Private Sydney columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald.