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Working night shift with Russell Crowe

<p>After more than 10 years of collaboration with Russell Crowe, veteran director Ridley Scott has gotten used to late-night phone calls. “Sometimes with Russell, you’ve just gone to bed, maybe had too much to drink, and it’s about quarter to one in the morning and the phone goes. And I go, ‘Oh, s---, it’s Russell,’” Scott says with a grin. “He usually calls from Australia and says, ‘All right? I hope it’s not too late.’ And I say, ‘Well actually, it is.’”</p>

After more than 10 years of collaboration with Russell Crowe, veteran director Ridley Scott has gotten used to late-night phone calls. “Sometimes with Russell, you’ve just gone to bed, maybe had too much to drink, and it’s about quarter to one in the morning and the phone goes. And I go, ‘Oh, s---, it’s Russell,’” Scott says with a grin. “He usually calls from Australia and says, ‘All right? I hope it’s not too late.’ And I say, ‘Well actually, it is.’”


It was such a phone call that spawned their latest film — their fifth together — “Robin Hood.” During one particular late-night call, Crowe presented Scott with an idea. “He said, ‘I’ve got this Robin Hood thing.’ And I said, ‘All right, let me read it.’ So we got into it, and I said, fundamentally, with deepest respect to the chaps who wrote it, ‘It needs a lot of work,’” Scott remembers. “And that’s what we did. We got into the reworking of it.”


One thing that needed to change, Scott knew, was the title. “At the time, it was called ‘Nottingham,’ which I think threw everyone into a tizz thinking, ‘How cool.’ And I hate that word, ‘cool,’” Scott sneers. “Because what does ‘cool’ mean? All it is is you’re going to call a film ‘Nottingham,’ and you’re going to spend half your marketing explaining why you’ve called it ‘Nottingham’ and not ‘Robin Hood.’ So I said we should just call it ‘Robin Hood’ and start again.”