“I think that there’s something wonderful in a story that’s latest for so long,” says Russell Crowe.
“The core thing that has attracted me since I was a five-year-old kid is that there’s some guy out there who will go and work on behalf of the people who can’t do something for themselves. There’s a guy there who’ll rob from the rich and give to the poor.”
As Hood nears its final release date of 14 May, a whisker shy of two years after its initial proposed release, news has broken that the film will open the Cannes Film Festival on 12 May.
Which could either sound Hood’s final death knell - if Cannes reports are negative - or foster the hype into a frenzy just in time for its worldwide bow two days later.
Russell Crowe remains positive.
“I've loved Robin Hood since I was a kid,” he says. “I spent 10 months just reading Robin Hood books – the history, the mythology, the original ballads, the legend – and then you've got 100 years of cinematic history as well. So this has got to be the best one ever done, otherwise I should be doing something else.”
Despite reports of his on-set huffs with Ridley, the Australian actor remains nothing but in awe of the 73-year-old director.
"The thing I love about working with Ridley is that you always finish the day feeling like you've done a day's work. That doesn't always happen on a film. Sometimes you knock around for days, thinking, 'This is getting nowhere.'
“It's a working man's dream. The way to make films is the way Ridley makes films: no mucking around; we're all gonna work really hard and if you can't stand the heat – whoosh! – get outta the kitchen.”
Meanwhile, Ridley can’t wait to show the doubters that he’s been right all along...
“Well, think of Gladiator. Everyone sniggered because I was going to do a sandal and toga movie. But I knew exactly how to do it and I know how to make Robin Hood. You step forward and make it real for a start. You choose a sensible moment in history.”
Ridley, we’re there. It’s been a long, torturous journey, taking twice as long as anybody ever expected it to, but the director’s take on the tale looks to be its most definitive. Bring on May.
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