By EW Staff
Updated October 17, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
Russell Crowe
Credit: Russell Crowe: Gilbert Flores/

Russell Crowe made EW’s Power List

Age 39

Studios will greenlight the most improbable projects when his name is attached. Like that unlikely drama about a mad mathematician (worldwide gross: $312 million). Or, opening in November, a big-budget epic about an overweight, violin-playing, 19th-century captain of a British navy frigate: ”Master and Commander,” a possible franchise that floated around studios for 11 years before Crowe signed on. He even persuaded Universal to bankroll Ron Howard’s ”Cinderella Man,” in which he’ll play — get this — a boxer. Imagine Crowe actually hitting someone. Absurd.