FIRST LOOK

First Look at Russell Crowe in State of Play!

by
March 22, 2008

First Look at Russell Crowe in State of Play

It's not as polished and official as the first Harry Potter photo we brought you earlier this week, but it is nevertheless the first snap of Russell Crowe filming the upcoming movie State of Play, being directed by Last King of Scotland's Kevin McDonald. It's also a shot of the man screwing up my jaunt across town earlier this week. State of Play is filming in D.C. right now, and on Tuesday they were shooting various scenes on U Street in the Northwest part of the city.

I'm not quite sure what to make of the upcoming political thriller. When the film was first announced and Brad Pitt and Ed Norton were slated to play the leads, there was definite anticipation on my part. Since then, the two have dropped out (for various reasons seemingly not related to the film), and Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck - ugh! - have replaced the two, respectively. Affleck will play the politician embroiled in a scandal surrounding the death of his mistress, while Crowe will portray Affleck's friend and politico-turned-investigative journalist. Obviously, it's a bit more complex than that, but you get the gist.

Russell Crowe in State of PlayRussell Crowe in State of Play

Crowe is certainly looking like a scruffy journo, though I wonder if the apparent weight gain is part of the role. It's rather funny that Crowe was filming at the iconic Ben's Chili Bowl. Perhaps his character packs on the pounds with too many cheese fries and smoked dogs? Affleck is in town as well, obviously, though no photos have surfaced of him as of yet. I'm finding it hard to picture him as a politician. He's clean-cut, sure, but certainly not leader-like.

The rest of the cast actually looks promising, though. Helen Mirren plays Crowe's boss and managing editor; Robin Wright Penn, the congressman's estranged wife; and Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, other reporter-types.

Other shots for Play took place at the Library of Congress and the Maine Avenue Fish Market. The film is based on the popular 2003 BBC mini-series and is directed by Kevin McDonald, due out sometime in 2009. Stay tuned for more updates on the film as we receive them.

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  • Joel
    Russel Crowe is a phenomenal actor. So I am looking forward to this film.
  • Tracey C
    Ben Affleck? That man can not act to save his life. Russell Crowe is amazing and I will see the movie for him and him alone. And I think he looks good with a little bit of weight on him. The hairstyle has got to go though.
  • Toni
    Russell is brilliant. The hair is grown out for his upcoming "Nottingham", directed by Ridley Scott, which I can not wait to see.
  • Luminella
    That's actually a wig!!! His own hair is much lovelier, and much longer too! I can't wait to see any of his upcoming movies, Tenderness, Body Of Lies, and State Of Play, but I must admit, that I'm really excited about Nottingham!
  • scar
    they are both awesome ...looking forward any and all political thriller...
  • Linda K
    That is not a wig - although he looks "scruffy" currently, I would guess for the purpose of the movie, his hair was that length when he was on Leno as well. His hair is beautiful, I agree, but when you are windblown even the best (and he has the best) hair looks a little scruffy. I'd pay a week's income just to run my hands though that "mop".
  • Stacy
    Russell's porkiness is his own doing and not for the SOP film. Before he took on this role he was told by Ridley Scott to LOSE 30 POUNDS for Nottingham. Nottingham is supposed to start filming immediately after SOP and I seriously doubt Russell is going to make the weight requirement in time. And who in their right mind wants to see a fat Russell Crowe IN TIGHTS? Ruseell IS an amazing actor...but even he can't pull that off! Russell took SOP knowing that he had to lose the 30 pounds so I can't imagine that Ridley Scott is very thrilled with him right now. The fact is - Russell had a chance to make a huge payday because Universal was desperate to keep SOP on their slate for 2009 after Brad Pitt dropped out because he didn't like the script changes that had been made WITHOUT his approval. Pitt had script approval and then Universal tried to stab him in the back by saying he broke a pay-or-play deal. Pitt NEVER approved the script and Universal knew that, but chose to make themselves look like the victim. With Pitt gone they had chase another big name and Russell was available if the price was right. He wanted the same amount they were paying Pitt, even though he didn't get the backend points that Pitt normally gets. So Universal offered Russell Crowe a $20MIL payday to step into the role. And everybody here knows that as good an actor as Russell is he does NOT normally command $20MIL paydays. So that's why you have a fat Russell instead of a thinner Russell - because $20MIL fell into his lap when he was supposed to be on a diet and exercising for another role. The next question is - what's Ridley Scott going to say to Russell when he shows up in England in April 30+ pounds overweight? The two of them had some epic clashes on Gladiator, so the stories coming off the Nottingham set ought to be a real riot.
  • Luminella
    Hi Linda K. If you'll check out Murph's place, you'll see that IT IS a wig! And to Stacy, Russell was asked to GAIN 30 Lbs for Body Of lies! Just how fast do you think he can SAFELY lose that weight? No, I wouldn't want to see him in tights right now either! He wouldn't have a belt to hold that belly up!
  • Meagan
    I can't wait for this movie. The cast is amazing. Brad Pitts is so bland and blah actor, glad he's out of this. Russell is always excellent at creating memorable characters onscreen.
  • Francisca Susi
    I'm ecstatic to know the prospect of this movie. Russell Crowe is my favourite actor. I don't know about Ben Affleck, but I shall see how he could pull it off. Always adore Helen Mirren and Robin Wright Penn, they're both powerful actresses. Rachel McAdams would be a top notch actress if she continues to be selective in her movie roles. She's not just a pretty face.
  • Marcia
    I don't know about him losing 30 pounds??? I read the book and the way I understand it is that he needed to be heavier for the part. And no tights. The look is stout, long hair and mid 40's. The look is more like; long tunic tied at waist with long robe over it with stockings and shoes or boots. If you want to see what the real sheriff of Nottingham ( 15th century) should look like visit this site.(http://www.geocities.com/puckrobin/rh/robbeg4.html Do research before writing an artical that way you won't look like a beginning reporter at age 18 on his first job. But I understand how men are; when a great one man comes along the rest just can't stand not being able to fit into his shoes and just has to find something to bring him down. I guess you can call it self boosting ego.
  • there's no need to get testy, Marcia. and speaking of an 18 year-old's aptitude, it's 'article' not 'artical'
  • I am glad people are excited about the film" state of play" mainly because I am one of the actors in it. my name is Robert RCHARDSON I was in ( "The New World") with COLIN FARRRELL and CHRISTIAN BALE and I was in ("The Sentenel") with MICHAEL DOUGLAS and KIEFER SUTHERLAND both films were fun to make. but I have to say it was a real honor to work with RUSSELL CROWE and BEN AFFLECK both true professionals in every sense of the word, but , they are more then just great actors, they are more importantly great people, very friendly, and just nice to hang out with. And I can't say enough about the beautiful and super talented RACHEL McADAMS. I think we all fell in love with her.....you just could'nt help it.....she really brings somthing to the film... http://www.riverdogs5@netzero.net
  • Severina
    Auch ich bin ein begeisterter Fan von Russel Crowe, mit seinen Charme und dem Talent charakterstark zu spielen. Aber er ist mit 44 Jahre noch zu jung, sich körperlich so gehen zu lassen. Was auch immer in bewegt hat, innerhalb eines Jahres soviel zuzulegen. Er sollte für die weiteren Jahre im Business und auch hinsichtlich seiner Gesundheit mehr auf sich achten. Ich wünsche ihm alles Gute, vorallem zu seinem bevorstehendem 44. Geburtstag. Happy Birthday Russel aus Germany
  • I was an exrta in this film, and was in three sets......... I watched both the actors, and to me I think this film has got Oscar written all over it! Enjoy!!!!!!
  • Mike
    Crowe was asked by Ridley Scott to put on 60 pounds for "Body of Lies." Thus, that is why he was asked to lose thirty but still looks a bit chunky. He's a great actor.
  • Rasmus Jensen
    Does anyone know what the text on his bracelet says? I know it's a breast cancer wristband, but the exact text please. Cheers
  • I can't wait to get to see the movie! And of course, it is not the "movie" if you don't go to the theater to see it. I fell in love with Crowe since the Gladiator, which is the best movie ever!

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