We met twenty years ago, Russell Crowe and I.
Yes, I know – a very long time ago.
Since then, many life lessons have unfolded for me and, in a funny way, have lead back to him - a formidable figure of Hollywood success unwittingly instrumental in my small, relatively insignificant journey, just as so many inspirational powerhouses have been - like Oprah (of course) and Jana Wendt, both legendary female journalists.
Then there’s been Jeff Wiggle and Lucy Liu: high-vis Asians also showing me what was possible.
Russell Crowe is neither female nor Asian – but just like these other influences, he is a storyteller and his part in my story began long before I met him.
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Perhaps it’s when you first noticed him too - watching Romper Stomper, or maybe it was Gladiator.
In 2000 I started working at Channel Nine and on day one, my gruff boss told me, "You’re the first non-bloody-WASP I’ve ever put on TV." He snorted, "and don’t get any fatter in the face".
And that was that: my induction to national commercial television. Two days earlier, I had been working at the ABC as a cadet journalist covering serious political, court and police stories, sometimes arts yarns but never interviewing celebrities for celebrity’s sake. So when my new Chief of Staff said, "You’re going to interview Russell Crowe," I couldn’t have been more thrilled.