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Russell Crowe Denies Reports That He Had A Legendarily Terrible Table Read For My Best Friend's Wedding

Russell Crowe first rose to success as an actor with a string of dramatic performances in the late 1990s. Although his roles in films such as "L.A. Confidential," "The Insider," and "Gladiator" were unique and powerful, he also gained a reputation as one of the most difficult actors in Hollywood. From allegedly threatening to kill one of "Gladiator's" producers to some choice words amidst run-ins with the relentless paparazzi, a certain "bad-boy" image became attached to the actor. But at the heart of the New Zealand-born actor's greatness is a series of roles that were commanding, compelling, and superbly showcased his chameleonic effect of disappearing into a wide range of characters.

His parts in 1999's "Mystery, Alaska" and 2006's "A Good Year" showcased his ability to disappear into light-hearted fare in an uplifting sports film and romantic comedy respectively. But his transition into rom-coms almost came years before with what has become one of those many hidden '90s gems in film, "My Best Friend's Wedding" in 1997. According to the book by Scott Meslow "From Hollywood With Love," his table read as Julianne Potter's (Julia Roberts) best friend Michael (Dermot Mulroney) turned out to be terrible (via Vulture). Crowe, however, has denied those reports.

Russell Crowe claims he did not audition for My Best Friend's Wedding

In Scott Meslow's book "From Hollywood With Love," P.J. Hogan, the director of "My Best Friend's Wedding," wanted Russell Crowe to play the part of Michael. This character was the titular best friend and love interest to Julia Roberts' Julianne, and as cited by Deadline, Crowe purportedly scheduled a table read as Roberts had discretion on who to cast in the film. The outlet also included text from the book where the director allegedly stated, "It was one of the worst table reads I've ever experienced. Russell was seated opposite Julia. He gripped that script, and he stared at that script, and he didn't look at her once. He read every line in a monotone. At one point, Julia was literally leaning over the table, staring, like, inches from Russell's face, trying to make eye contact. And he wouldn't look at her..."

Hogan concluded by describing how Crowe thought the reading went well, but the director already knew he wouldn't be in the film. In response, Crowe completely pushed back on these claims on his official Twitter account. He tweeted, "Pure imagination on behalf of this director. I did not audition for this film. I have never done a table read with the actress mentioned. Would be funny if it wasn't so pointless." 

The tweet has since garnered dozens of replies, with one of them from @cognac62 reading, "Wow. How Bizarre." Other users expressed similar sentiments of skepticism regarding Hogan's claims about Crowe's bad table read.