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Crowe rules out Wallace series role


Russell Crowe attends the premiere of Noah at the Film House in Edinburgh

Russell Crowe attends the premiere of Noah at the Film House in Edinburgh

Russell Crowe attends the premiere of Noah at the Film House in Edinburgh

Russell Crowe said he has no interest in reuniting with Sir Ridley Scott for the filmmaker's forthcoming production about Scottish warrior William Wallace.

The Hollywood star, who has Scottish ancestry, has teamed up with Sir Ridley in the past to reinvigorate old legends, rebooting the sword 'n' sandals genre with 2000 blockbuster Gladiator and more recently with their darker take on Robin Hood in 2010.

But the New Zealand-born star said he has no interest in becoming the second Australasian William Wallace, picking up the baton from Mel Gibson's Braveheart, in the planned television mini-series about Wallace and Robert the Bruce produced by Sir Ridley's Scott Free Productions for the Discovery Channel.

"Not if it's a TV show - I've got other things to do mate," Russell said at a fans' premiere of his new biblical adventure Noah at the Filmhouse in Edinburgh.

He chatted with fans and journalists in the Scottish capital about his respect for Noah director Darren Aronofsky, the Pope who he recently visited at the Vatican, and the Scottish people with whom he shares a common ancestry.

"My grandfather's name was Wemyss, but he was not from the town of Wemyss", said Russell.

"I think Scotland's a pretty fascinating place. I'd love to come back."

His heritage may entitle him to register for Scottish citizenship under the SNP's plans for independence, but he said he had no strong opinion on the matter beyond a recognition of Scotland's "very clear and certain cultural identity".

Noah has caused controversy over its depiction of the biblical prophet who is revered in all three Abrahamic religions, leading the film's crew to visit the Vatican to discuss the film.

"Given all the controversy it would have been very easy for the Vatican to rescind the invitation that they put forward, but the fact that they didn't I think shows a consistent kindness," he said.

"The Pope's message has always been the same but just recently the tone seems to have changed, and I don't ever remember feeling any connection to any other Pope but I feel quite close to this fella."

He added: "Noah is mentioned in every ancient religious text so at that point to me it's not about religion.

"It pre-dates religion as such, and becomes more of a shared human experience.

"Our geology will talk about flood mythology. Archaeology will talk to us about flood mythology. I lean towards it's a historical point.

"Whether it was 10,000 years ago as stated in the Christian bible, or 100,000 years ago or a million years ago I don't really know.

"That's one of the great things that Darren does in this movie, he obviously has an on-point message in terms of the biblical story, but on the other side of it he leaves quite a large gap for Darwinian theories of evolution.

"It was a grand challenge, combining that with a request from a filmmaker whose work I've been following.

"I've liked Darren's movies in the past, but Black Swan was particularly impressive to me. I've seen it three times. It's the kind of phone call that you wait for really."

Crowe was accompanied in Edinburgh by his young British co-star Douglas Booth, who plays his son Shem.

Douglas said: "Darren Aronofsky is one of the greatest filmmakers alive so when he asked me to work with him it was just a dream come true.

"Russell has such a great presence and a great energy, and when he comes on set you just don't know what he's going to do so it's very exciting to work with him."