It’s not the first time George has addressed the tension. Back in 2013, he retaliated by making an unsavoury reference to Russell’s band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts.
“I put out a statement saying, ‘He’s probably right. And I’m glad he told us, 'cause Bob and Harrison and I were also thinking about starting a band, which would also fall under the heading of bad use of celebrity,’” George sniped.
“And that’s when he really went off on me. ‘Who the f--k does this guy think he is? He’s a Frank Sinatra wannabe.’ He really went after me.”
Now, an insider tells New Idea that George has had sour grapes in his mouth ever since Russell, 56, won the coveted lead role in Gladiator over him way back in 1999.
“George always wishes he got that one,” tells the source.
It’s also rumoured George had his eye on Russell’s part in The Nice Guys alongside Ryan Gosling.
The duo had previously worked together on The Ides of March and had developed a great rapport, so George was apparently “flabbergasted” when he was passed over again for Russell.
According to the insider, George’s latest comments confirm that Russell is still paying the price for making a “misstep” against some of Hollywood’s biggest names.
“He definitely messed up by shading George, Bob and Harrison,” says the source. “They’re the who’s who of Hollywood and they’ve clearly never quite forgiven him.”
Russell’s fellow Australian posse are among his only remaining A-list allies.
“Russell knows who he can trust, like Nicole [Kidman] and Hugh [Jackman], and who to avoid. Nic and Hugh get on with George, but they think him pulling out this feud again is pretty tacky. If push came to shove, they’re loyal to Russell.”
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