Next week will see the release of Darren Arofonsky’s new movie Noah, starring Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly, among a wealth of other stars. The film is based on the biblical story of Noah and the ark that he built to withstand a great flood sent by God. Crowe plays Noah, his most recent character in a string of high profile movies, including Winter’s Tale and Les Miserables.

russell crowe hollywood actorIs Russell Crowe one of the greatest Hollywood actors?

Russell Crowe first came to prominence as an actor in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, in which he played General Maximus Decimus Meridius (commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife...we’re big Gladiator fans, unless you’ve guessed). He won the Oscar for his performance, as well as a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, an Empire Award for Best Actor and a London Film Critics Circle Award. On top of his wins he had also been nominated for 10 more awards for the role. Essentially, he was good. Real good.

A year later Crowe took on a more challenging role than an aggrieved Roman general. In A Beautiful Mind Crowe played John F. Nash, renowned mathematician and winner of a Nobel Prize. The biopic focuses on Nash’s spiral into schizophrenia and the relationship with his wife, played by Jennifer Connelly. Mike Clark from USA Today said of Crowe’s performance, “It’ll soon be very clear that when Russell Crowe won the Oscar for Gladiator, he got it for the wrong movie...Crowe somehow makes himself - through personality and especially body language - a viable screen hero, even though his lack of social graces often puts him on the outs with his crowd.”

Crowe’s career has suffered its minor setbacks, particularly the disappointing reviews for his performance as Inspector Javert in the 2012 version of Les Miserables. But the show must go on! Not everyone gets it spot on every time, and Russell hasn’t let the feedback deter him.

Crowe’s varied performances have earned him the label of a virtuoso actor, as well as several accolades, including his own coveted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We’ll have to wait until Noah is released to weigh in on Crowe’s performance, but he has certainly proved over the past 15 years that he is one of Hollywood's heavyweights. Crowe is a true character actor and while we love seeing him in the big budget epic movies, we do hope to see him take on a quieter, more internal role like Nash once again, as for us, it’s his true forte.

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Watch the trailer for Noah here: