Russell Crowe Says He’s ‘Slightly Uncomfortable’ With ‘Gladiator 2’: ‘There’s Definitely a Tinge of Melancholy’ and ‘Jealousy’

Russell Crowe in Gladiator
©DreamWorks/Courtesy Everett Collection

Russell Crowe has admitted that he’s “slightly uncomfortable” with the fact that Ridley Scott is making a sequel to “Gladiator.”

Crowe played the lead character, Maximus Decimus Meridius, in Scott’s 2000 epic, which won him an Oscar for best actor and launched him to worldwide fame. Now, “Normal People” breakout Paul Mescal is starring in “Gladiator II” as Lucius Verus, the grandson of former Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris). As you may recall, Marcus was brutally killed by his power-hungry son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) after he appointed Maximus as his successor. The first film ends with Crowe’s character memorably dying in a duel against Commodus.

In a new interview on “Kyle Meredith With…,” Crowe said: “I’m slightly uncomfortable, the fact that they’re making another one, you know? Because of course, I’m dead, and I have no say in what gets done. A couple of things that I’ve heard, I’m like, ‘No, no, no. That’s not in the moral journey of that particular character.’ But you know, I can’t say anything. That’s not my place. I’m six feet under. So we’ll see what that is like.”

The 60-year-old actor — who after “Gladiator” went on to star in “Master and Commander,” Scott’s “Robin Hood” and “Les Misérables” — added that the forthcoming new installment has caused him to look back on his career.

“I reflect back on the age I was when I made that film and all the things that came after it and the doors that particular movie opened for me,” he said. “So there’s definitely a tinge — and this is just being purely honest — a tinge of melancholy, a tinge of jealousy. Because I remember when I had tendons.”

Despite his apparently decaying tendons, Crowe is in post-production on four films: horror movie “The Exorcism,” Marvel’s “Kraven the Hunter” starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the biopic of painter Mark Rothko titled “Rothko” and historical drama “Nuremberg.”

Watch the full interview with Crowe here.

From Variety US