Russell in Madrid
How things can change in just some hours!
Having started yesterday morning in such a bad mood and suffering from a higher temperature that lasted almost the whole day, I hardly couldn’t believe when night came and everything was over that I time that I accepted this “fever” the way it is and the useless effort to resist it or get recovered from it. No way, I thought, so 30 minutes later I reached the Ritz Hotel and my In Technicolor friends already waiting there in the hall. Just four of us, the ones who know each other, who live in Madrid and in things like that, can meet as soon as possible and under those circumstances of lack of information in advance.
would be able to see Russell after this flashing and top secreted visit. That, and my most serious craziness and lack of shame I have got about my devotion for this man.
Yes, with 37.5 ºC temperature firing my forehand, a heavy weight on my head and eyes, and deadly colour on my face, I asked for permission at work to leave but as I put my feet on the street, they, with their own will, led me straight to catch a taxi. I couldn’t believe either that the words “please, to the Ritz Hotel, ASAP” were coming out from my mouth. But well, it’s already a very long day.
Anyway, they had already seen Russell in the photo call session taken place before the press conference and my arriving. They could do a video at least but we couldn’t get anything else yet. I was able to have some glimpses of him the moment the door to the press conference room opened for any reason, and also, in a time spent in the street I could see his face and figure through the reflex on the window pane of that room, but that was all. In any case and for me, it was absolutely enough considering the circumstances and my state of health.
In the time waiting for the end of the press conference, we could reach the Fox Spain Marketing Manager, a not very nice guy, but to whom we talked in quite clear terms to let him know our opinion on this top secret operation. Okay, it was only a visit arranged for the press but, hey, we were four miserable fans right there, that’s all. Anyway, we didn’t expect more than we got, so in any case it’s always great to share same space/time coordinates with THE MAN.
When the press conference finished, Russell was taken to the room booked in the second floor for the interviews row with journalists in the afternoon, so we didn’t have any chance. We decided to stay in the hotel, I didn’t feel well and… who knew what could happen?
We could know about the press conference thanks to two very nice journalists, first a woman and then a man, who told us about Russell’s relaxed mood and words, talkative and kind with everyone and on every matter. He talked about almost everything: his great personal moment in life with his family, his two sons and wife as his most important priorities, his relationship with Ridley Scott, “I didn’t read any script from him, I simply agree and say yes”, he told. He also spoke about his taste on wine, saying he hadn’t tasted Ridley’s ones but liked the Spanish Rioja; about AG and his next western; about Pedro Almodovar and that definition the director gave some years ago on him of being a “raging bull”. “Well, if he needs a raging bull for his next movie, I hope he calls me”, was Russell’s answer. So everything sounded really nice, right questions by journalists, at last and for a time, with the lesson well learned. Only the inevitable one, that of his legendary bad temper and bad boy reputation, and Russell’s calm and relaxed answer again: “Well, mate, I’ll tell you what I’ve read on papers these days: that I was surfing in I don’t know yet the place, that I’ve been in a restaurant, I was… let’s say it, very glad and I burnt my hair doing I don’t know what in I don’t know yet the place, and thirdly that I was playing again in I don’t know yet the place with my son James. Well, when have I got a son called James? So, no, mate, I just don’t care about it any more in this time of my life.”
So it was about time at last here in Spain for a press conference in conditions on Russell!
Later on, we were having some coffee in the hall and I saw a man I thought I knew maybe from t.v. He was with four people more who looked like journalists about to leave, so I went to ask them. This guy immediately was interested on us as fans and I told him I thought I knew him, and he said I surely did because he is also an actor in a very good and popular cops’ tv series here (his name is Bruto Pomeray, Sabino’s supporting character in El Comisario), and I then recognized him because I’m a follower of the series. The man, when no shootings, works as a journalist in a local tv station and had a press pass and appointment for an interview with Russell in a while, so he came with us and… wowwww, what a wonderful chance not only to a possible access to Russ but to TEACH A COMPLETE LESSON on the matter we best know about, and to a journalist!, one of those specimens usually so prepared and learned about Crowe’s world!
So, and maybe for me, that was the best moment of the day and with a possible great reward although no directly addressed to us but being us the ones to feel absolutely satisfied in a certain way because that guy would probably have great and comfortable answers from Russell, and that would be because of OUR questions we could ask him through our friend. He had some already prepared but he only had eight minutes so no material time for many answers… We suggested three and assured him he would obtain Russell’s straight attention. So there he went for the interview and 45 minutes later he came back. He told us that as he was waiting for his turn, he got a bit afraid because of the comments on Russell having already fired out three or four journalists in the first questions (we could imagine what kind of questions they would be…) but well, our friend was brave!
He first began with his own question about Russell’s preparation on Max Skinner’s character. Russell answered in good manner and everything seemed right. The second one was ours: what differences have you found about this acting as a comedian again and those performances in your early Australian comedies in the nineties?
And voilà, first Russell’s interested look to the guy in front and another nice answer.
By that time, the press manager and people around getting a bit nervous: the longer the answer, the shorter the time left. So, once again, people around the man putting the impatience and the nerves. But our guy gets to shoot our third question: And well, how about your rugby team, the SS Rabbitohs? Are they having a nice season?
Russell’s eyes brighten instantly and he calms down everyone: hey, it’s ok, I want to talk to this guy, he says. And he started to tell about his childhood and how he was worn with the Bunnies T-shirts, he even followed with the team history and how important is this matter for him.
Now, managers and others were just about to take our friend from the seat but he made the total score with the last question: and to finish with, could you tell me about your band, TOFOG, and a possibility of doing a gig here in Spain some day?
We would have given an arm for having seen Russell’s face… (we hope to see it in our guy’s tv programme on Friday night or the copy of it he’s gonna get for us). Russell’s answer was that well, it couldn’t be only one gig but a tour. Our friend told him that he could help for that because of some contacts and well, we would see if in a future… And suddenly, Russell asked him: hey, mate, do you want to see two of my videoclips?
Imagine our friend’s replay! So Russell got up, took the micro on his chest off, and led him to another room to show him The Weight of a man clip and a Testify live performance. When watching TWOFAM clip, he told about having filming it in Nimes and its Spanish flavour as he looks as a bullfighter. At the end, Russell gave our guy a MHMH cd as a present and said goodbye quite friendly. Our guy could tell him about our presence in the hall but the press manager didn’t want to know anything about that matter. We didn’t complain, however, as we understood Russell’s already delay to leave.
Well, all this adventure ends with a spell of bad luck and blame on ourselves for not having got to reach him at the hotel back door when he finally left the Ritz at 7 p.m. But, sincerely, that virtual interview we got from him through this new and really kind friend of us is my personal reward on this quick visit of my great and loving Russell.