Pop Culture

How Russell Crowe Broke Both His Legs



The ‘Gladiator’ star had a nasty accident during his last collaboration with Ridley Scott.

Russell Crowe is returning to the big screen soon as part of Land of Bad, playing an Air Force drone pilot who has to act as the eyes in the sky for a Delta force team in enemy territory after an ambush. But in a recent interview with PEOPLE, Crowe reveals an injury he sustained in a previous role that could be affecting his future roles.

As he notes, he was always big on doing his own stunts until a mishap during 2010’s Robin Hood forced him to rethink things eventually. “I jumped off a castle portcullis onto rock-hard uneven ground,” Crowe tells the outlet. “We should have prepped the ground and buried a pad but we were in a rush to get the shot done in the fading light.”

According to Crowe, everything felt right until the moment he jumped. “With hundreds of extras around, arrows flying and burn pots setting the castle on fire, there was no pulling out,” he adds. “As I jumped, I remember thinking, ‘This is going to hurt.'”

“It was like an electric shock bursting up through my body,” he continues. “We were shooting a big movie, so you just struggle through, but the last month of that job was very tricky. There was a number of weeks where even walking was a challenge.”

To his detriment, Crowe didn’t tell the production about his injury and he never took a day off. “I thought it was nothing serious. After working through a long New York winter, my body was just missing exercise and sunshine,” he described after going to a doctor after getting “very strange pains.”

“When did you break your legs?” the doctor asked Crowe, jogging his memory to ten years prior in the middle of his jump. “Apparently I finished that movie with two broken legs,” he adds. “All for art. No cast, no splints, no painkillers, just kept going to work and over time they healed themselves.”

He didn’t work again until 2013’s Man of Steel, which lent an inkling of knowledge to his realization. “In retrospect I obviously knew something was wrong,” Crowe concluded. “To be the Kryptonian father of Superman was six months of incredibly intense physical training. Between the time off and that training, things fixed themselves.” Crowe could always face more issues as he gets older, but it’s great that he managed to dodge anything too serious.





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