REEL DEALS Russell Crowe apparently had a fit of pique worthy of Maximus or John Nash after winning the best actor trophy at the on Sunday night. He had made a point of reading a four-line poem (Patrick Kavanagh’s ”Sanctity”) during his acceptance speech, but the show was running long, and the poem was edited out of that evening’s tape-delayed BBC telecast. At a post-show reception, Sting warned the ceremony’s director, Malcolm Gerrie, ”Careful, Russell wants blood.” Shortly thereafter, Crowe allegedly cornered Gerrie, shoved him up against a wall, jabbed a finger in his face, and shouted, ”I don’t give a f— who you are. Who on earth had the f—ing audacity to take out the Best Actor’s poem? You f—ing piece of shit, I’ll make sure you never work in Hollywood.” For good measure, witnesses said, Crowe then kicked over three chairs before stomping out of the room.
Neither Crowe nor DreamWorks, which is distributing ”A Beautiful Mind” overseas, commented on the incident, but a spokesman for the BAFTA show’s producers told the Associated Press, ”Russell Crowe was abusive and behaved very unreasonably. We told people accepting that they must keep their speeches to a minimum because we were conscious of the time constraints. They were told three times. As with many other winners his speech ran over, and he was not the only one who was edited.” Gerrie has said he will not take legal action against Crowe.
Maybe no one wanted to see Gwyneth Paltrow sing karaoke in ”Duets,” but Sheryl Crow says the Oscar-winning actress really can sing. The two sang together at New York’s Cutting Room club last year, and Paltrow recorded backing vocals on ”It’s Only Love,” a track on Crow’s latest album, ”C’mon, C’mon.” ”She just knows all of my material,” the New York Daily News quotes Crow as saying. ”She is a very, very good mimic. She knows how to blend.” Don’t expect Paltrow to sign a record deal anytime soon, however. ”I decided to stick with my day job,” she told the paper. ”There’s something that weirds me out about actors who want to be rock stars. And vice versa.”
Like Bob Dylan? Despite his Oscar last year for the song ”Things Have Changed,” Dylan’s handful of onscreen appearances have been less then memorable. (Recall his 1987 starring role in ”Hearts of Fire”? Didn’t think so.) Still, he’s about to sign on for his first film lead role in 15 years, on a movie called ”Masked and Anonymous,” scripted by ”Mad About You” writer Larry Charles. Dylan would play Jack Fate, a singer who comes out of prison and performs one last time. The film will contain Dylan music, though it’s not clear if any of the music will be new. Wonder if Paltrow is available to costar….