Al-Qaeda kidnapping plots and FBI stalkings sound like the makings of a movie Russell Crowe would win a few Oscars for.
But it was actually the actor’s real life following his three Oscar nominations and Best Actor win for Gladiator back in 2001. Crowe himself revealed the harrowing story in an interview with the Guardian.
“I still really don’t know to this day what the f*** that was all about,” Crowe said, when asked about the reports that al-Qaeda targeted him in a kidnapping plot. “All I know is, I arrived in LA, got to my hotel, as I’d done umpteen times before, started unpacking, and there was a knock at the door and a team of FBI guys wanted to sit down and discuss something with me. And then, for nearly two years, they were always around. I remember going to the Golden Globes and having, like, 16 security guys with me. I don’t even know why. They wouldn’t give me any details. And, of course, people were like: ‘Look at him, he thinks he’s f***ing Elvis.’ And then one day they just weren’t there any more.”
The actor explained that the price of fame is that, “People want a piece of you.” Even al-Qaeda terrorists.
Oh, and Michael Jackson.
Crowe said he was repeatedly called by the singer “for two or three f***ing years. I never met him, never shook his hand, but he found out the name I stayed in hotels under, so it didn’t matter where I was, he’d ring up do this kind of thing like you did when you were 10, you know. ‘Is Mr. Wall there? Is Mrs. Wall there? Are there any Walls there? Then what’s holding the roof up? Ha ha.’ You’re supposed to grow out of doing that right?”
Luckily for Crowe, the craziness of the early 2000s seems to have died down significantly for the actor, who said the upside to technology today is that you can just block crazy people on social media.
The Guardian pointed out that Crowe went to get a coffee before the interview and said, “That wasn’t a pain in the arse at all.”