Russell Crowe guides newcomer Jamie Bell through the Hollywood gauntlet

By William Keck
February 09, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

Who knew Russell Crowe could be so paternal? Usually, the grimacing Gladiator star is knee-deep in heavenly bodies like ex-squeeze Meg Ryan and, reportedly, Courtney Love — not to mention a bevy of bodyguards. But at a post-Golden Globes party at Trader Vic’s, Crowe put his arm around the shoulder of Billy Elliot‘s Jamie Bell to offer tips on surviving the showbiz coliseum. ”He was telling me how the whole game works,” the 14-year-old tells EW. ”We were talking about what his security guards do. He told me they basically just stand around being bored, doing nothing. Then when they see someone trying to talk to him, they’ll say, ‘Step back, step back!”’ Will Bell now be hiring his own team of lackeys? ”No, I don’t need bodyguards — I’ve got Russell.”