Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Crowe gives acting master class

Russell Crowe jetted in from LA to give students the acting class

Russell Crowe has flown thousands of miles to give his first acting class to a group of students.

The Oscar-winner fulfilled a long-standing promise to his friend Bill Bryson, the author and chancellor of Durham University.

Russell heard Bill was leaving his post this year and decided if he was going to carry out his vow to teach Durham students, it had to be soon.

The 47-year-old flew from Los Angeles to the UK to take the session which had been agreed over a Chinese meal in London's Dorchester hotel around five years ago.

Russell led a session with members of Durham Student Theatre at St Chad's College, in the shadow of the city's majestic Norman cathedral.

Afterwards, the star , who won an Oscar in 2001 for Gladiator, admitted he had been "really nervous".

He said: "I've never done this before, I called back on the things people said to me as a young actor.

"We started off with a few games and went into a long session of interpretation. It was enjoyable, really nice."

Invited members of the group revealed Russell asked them to perform for him in front of their peers, and some ended up singing opera or trying out different accents. But the main message they received was to fall in love with acting, and face up to the fact that "99.9% of actors will be unemployed at any given time".

Afterwards, Russell revealed Anthony Hopkins had inspired him as a young man. He added: "The things that he said to me when I was 25 or 26 really drove me forward. Hopefully some of the kids today got some adrenaline out of that. He said things that gave me confidence to keep pursuing what I was doing."

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