Crowe's Straight Skinny on 'Mind'

01/03/2002 at 01:00 PM EST

Reviewing director Ron Howard's "A Beautiful Mind," starring Russell Crowe, PEOPLE film critic Leah Rozen wrote, "John Nash Jr.'s story seems a natural for a movie, and yet it's a tricky one. How exactly do you show a brilliant mathematician -- one who was awarded a Nobel Prize for his economic theories in 1994 and who still works at Princeton today -- going mad and spending decades of his life a delusional prisoner of schizophrenia?" Still, Rozen found the biopic "deftly" done, "thanks to a brilliant theatrical ploy . . . that draws viewers into Nash's madness." On the other hand, some other critics, including the one for The New York Times, zeroed in on a glaring omission in "A Beautiful Mind," based on a book of the same name by Sylvia Nassar: Nash's bisexuality, which the book openly reveals. "That was a big question for us, how far to go into that," Crowe, 37, tells Entertainment Weekly (which, like PEOPLE, is published by Time Inc., a division of AOL Time Warner). "It was relevant to his character, but we didn't want to imply that there was any possibility that schizophrenia and homosexuality are related. That would be ridiculous." Nash's conflict, however, is suggested in a scene in which Nash glances lingeringly at a young man walking toward him. In a recent statement, notes The Washington Post, Nash and his wife, Alicia, denied that the mathematician has ever had a homosexual relationship.

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