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Russell Crowe's Role In Thor: Love & Thunder Is Similar To Gladiator, But Much Sillier

Thor: Love & Thunder is a film starring Chris Hemsworth. Russell Crowe's ludicrous MCU appearance as Zeus is discussed by Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman

Rowe rose to fame after starring as Roman general-turned-gladiator Maximus in Ridley Scott's Oscar-winning epic in 2000. Now, an elder Crowe is entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Zeus in Taika Waititi's latest Thor sequel. While Zeus is Crowe's first MCU role, he is no stranger to comic book flicks, having previously played Jor-El in DC's Man of Steel and Zack Snyder's Justice League. After his role as Dr. Jekyll in The Mummy, Crowe was meant to be a member of another cinematic universe, but the Dark Universe notoriously broke apart. Despite his appearances in modern-day blockbusters like these, Crowe is most remembered for donning Roman armor and defeating Joaquin Phoenix's Emperor Commodus in the box office smash Gladiator.

Of course, Crowe's Oscar-winning acting ability is undeniable. While the Gladiator star is known for being so serious on-screen, he appears to have no qualms with letting free when the situation demands it. Crowe's desire to be foolish for the cameras was noted by Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Love & Thunder. In an interview with Disney, Portman noted, "It was so much joy to see Russell Crowe portray Zeus and have such a fantastic sense of humor with the character." "It was great to see him act goofy," she continued. I think we're so used to seeing him in these powerful, heroic characters that it was refreshing to watch him let go." Hemsworth echoed this sentiment, telling Disney:

"I never thought I’d see the day where Russell would appear on screen with hints at 'Gladiator' imagery, yet with a wink—totally self-deprecating. He didn’t hold back. I’m such a fan. I have been since I first started acting. There’s such a weight and a seriousness to his performances and to him, as an individual, from afar. But meeting him, he has a great sense of humor and did whatever Taika asked on set, which was mind-blowing. And it was really fun to play with the mythology, going from Norse to Greek mythology — Taika pulls all these worlds together."

Indeed, Crowe's career isn't exactly brimming with light-hearted fare. Crowe's portrayal of Zeus in Thor: Love & Thunder stands out in his filmography as a particularly casual and self-deprecating performance. And, according to Portman and Hemsworth, Crowe poured himself into the role of Zeus, providing director Taika Waititi with all the wackiness he required. Fans have already had a taste of the craziness courtesy to a hilarious trailer scene in which Zeus uses his magic to undress Thor in front of a throng of onlookers. When Thor: Love & Thunder delivers the MCU's unapologetically wacky side to theaters, it will undoubtedly be entertaining to watch what other shenanigans Crowe gets up to as Zeus.

Source: Disney (via The Direct)

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