The Gladiator actor had a lot of money to burn and a little bit too much vodka
Some people find that a questionable purchase inevitably follows a night of drinking, and Academy Award winner Russell Crowe evidently isn’t immune to the impulse. But instead of waking up to a couple embarrassing Amazon Prime receipts, the actor dropped $35,000 on a dinosaur head owned by Leonardo DiCaprio. You know, normal Hollywood stuff.
“I bought it for my kids, and you know, cut myself a little bit of slack here, there was a bunch of vodka involved in the transaction and it happened at Leonardo’s house,” Crowe told Howard Stern on his SiriusXM Satellite show Wednesday.
“[DiCaprio] started the conversation, he’s like, ‘I got this one, but there’s another one coming on the market that I really want so I’m trying to sell this one,’ and I said, ‘Well, I’ll buy it.’ I said ‘How much you want for it?’ He was pretty cool about it, he said, ‘Just give me what I paid for it,’ and I think he paid 30, 35 grand for it,” Crowe recounted.
The actor sold the head in 2018 through Sotheby’s Australia as part of the infamous auction he set up to pay for his divorce. Naturally, it was called “Russell Crowe: The Art of Divorce.”
Although Crowe said he didn’t remember the type of dinosaur the skull belonged to, the auction house described it as the head of a Mosasaur, which were prevalent approximately 65 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous Period. They were fierce hunters “with a double-hinged jaw and a flexible skull enabling them to eat their prey whole.”
Crowe told Stern that the head’s doubled in value since he sold it and that he expected it to be worth much more. “It was not a very popular dinosaur,” he conceded.
Still, Crowe’s purchase came about from a pretty wholesome rationale. “Part of the reason for buying it is that when I did buy it around 2008, 2009, my kids, particularly my oldest, were fascinated [with] dinosaurs, so I said, ‘Here you go, here’s one for the playroom,'” Crowe recalled.
Other items offered in his divorce auction included a jock strap from Cinderella Man, a fully functioning Roman chariot from Gladiator, and ice skates Crowe wore for the film Mystery, Alaska.
Crowe stars as former Fox News head Roger Ailes in the Showtime miniseries The Loudest Voice, which will premiere June 30. He and DiCaprio have starred in two films together, The Quick and the Dead (1995) and Body of Lies (2008).