Australian actor Russell Crowe admitted today that he was persuaded to take the role of iconic English character Robin Hood after being shown the 1970 film 'Ned Kelly' starring Mick Jagger as the legendary Australian.
Although Crowe was born in New Zealand, he is a naturalized Australian, and takes Australian culture very seriously. "I felt I had to get our own back for Jagger's performance," he told reporters, "So I agreed to the part of Robin Hood so long as I could dump all the 'rob from the rich and give to the poor' nonsense."
Another Australian, actress Cate Blanchett, plays the role of Maid Marion in the new film. She has suggested that she also agreed to be cast as payback for Ned Kelly. However, she was a bit surprised when Russell Crowe was chosen for the main part. "I didn't think he would be able to pull off a convincing accent," she said, "The accent has always been essential to the role of Robin Hood, and if you can't sound acceptably American you won't be believable."
In the 2010 version of Robin Hood, Russell Crowe plays the character as a violent and aggressive soldier. There is no sign of the band of Merry Men or the green tights and tunics usually associated with the Robin Hood stories. Instead, the plot centres around a terrorist cell based in Nottingham which is planning an attack on the airport at Doncaster. The gang indicate their intentions using the Twitter networking system, and the climax of the film is a confrontation between the gang and the Sheriff's SWAT team, led by Henry VIII.
It is a strange twist of fate that brings Australian Crowe to play Robin Hood. In his autobiography Mick Jagger said he only took the part of Ned Kelly after he realised he could do the accent. He decided he would be fine once he had seen Dick Van Dyke playing the Australian chimneysweep in Mary Poppins.