Russell Crowe Picks on Robin Hoods of the Past

Russell Crowe Picks on Robin Hoods of the Past
Robin Hood on screen (from left): Errol Flynn, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner
Everett; David Appleby/Universal; Everett

04/29/2010 AT 06:10 AM EDT

Robin Hood may steal from the rich and give to the poor, but when it comes to his interpretation of the folk legend, Russell Crowe is barely giving an inch.

As the star and producer of May 12's Cannes Film Festival opening attraction Robin Hood, Crowe compared and contrasted his new version to previous screen incarnations of Sherwood Forest's favorite bandit.

"Past filmmakers and studios have 'supposed' things about Robin Hood," the Gladiator Oscar winner, 46, said Tuesday night on French TV's Canal Plus Le Grand Journal.

On the other hand, his take on Hood and his merry men – which costars Cate Blanchett and marks Crowe's fifth collaboration with director Ridley Scott – "depicts the origins, where he might actually have come from" instead of relying on the "usual clichés."



Perhaps hoping to right the wrongs of the past, Crowe even went so far as to suggest his Robin Hood will "recalibrate the story … taking a fresh look."


As part of the interview, which also included an archery demonstration (the star missed the bullseye not once, but twice), Crowe was asked to assess others who have slipped into Robin's boots. Said the actor as he took a sip of wine, "I'm going to get myself in trouble again."

Crowe's candid comments:

• Examining a photo of Errol Flynn in the classic 1938 Warner Bros. Technicolor The Adventures of Robin Hood, Crowe questioned Flynn's wardrobe selection: "The practicality of going through an English forest, with all its coarse bushes and bramble and all that, in green tights? Not very practical now, is it?"

• Shown a scene from Disney's 1973 full-length animated Robin Hood, he said with a wink: "The best Robin Hood so far."

• When a poster of Kevin Costner in 1991's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves appeared onscreen, Crowe hesitated. Asked had he seen Costner's film, he hesitated still. After some additional coaxing, he responded finally: "It looks like a Jon Bon Jovi video."

Farceur Mel Brooks's 1993 parody Robin Hood: Men In Tights, which starred Cary Elwes, Crowe ranks "the most entertaining" version – but adds this proviso: "Again, it examines the same exact clichés as all the other films that wrap the legend up and throw it away. And once Mel Brooks has had a go at it, it's time to wipe the slate clean."

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