VIDEO: Russell Crowe Finds Being a Dad 'Special'

Video courtesy The Tonight Show

10/30/2007 AT 02:10 PM EDT

Video courtesy The Tonight Show
Being warm and fuzzy isn't typically Russell Crowe's calling card, but the tough guy got downright wistful while talking to Jay Leno about his son Charlie on Monday night's Tonight Show.

"Being a dad is one of the most special things that's ever come up in my life," said the Oscar winner, 43.

Not that Crowe, whose new film is American Gangster, would be thrilled at the prospect of the 3-year-old's following in his footsteps – despite the fact that Charlie seems to have inherited his dad's thirst for the spotlight.

"I was at a radio press conference in New York, and I thought it would be alright if I just brought [Charlie] in with me and set him on my knee," Crowe said.

"The very first thing he does is lean over and twist one of the microphones to him [and says], 'Daddy, I would like to tell a joke' – and then he proceeded in front of these 30 journalists to tell his favorite."

So, why not encourage the youngster to head to Hollywood?

"You've got to put up with massive amounts of rejection and there's gonna be things that don't go your way, so when you look at your little beautiful kid, it's not really the sort of thing you'd want him to pursue," said the proud but protective pop.

"There are better things you can do in your life," Crowe concluded, which prompted Leno to interject, "Yeah, but not for this kind of money. This is like stealing money!"

"You're not wrong," acknowledged a smiling Crowe, motioning to the crowd to keep it on the down low.

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