LISTEN: Russell Crowe speaks to Fitzy and Wippa about Johnny Cash.
Telling the hosts he'd been approached to play the lead in the Johnny Cash 2005 biopic, Walk the Line, Russell, 55, admitted he'd made a mistake by saying no to the part.
“The only role that would have a tinge of regret in it … the one that I possibly do regret turning down was the Johnny Cash biopic with [director] James Mangold," Russell said.
“It was one of those funny things with an internal morality, it was like, ‘This is a dream job for me’
“I’d been playing, singing Johnny Cash songs since I was a little boy. But I felt that I would be then getting stuff that I hadn’t earned, that I’d be climbing on Johnny Cash’s back to get Grammy nominations or something, it just felt wrong to me,” the actor admitted.
Asked if he thought Joaquin Phoenix (who went on to play the Johnny Cash role in the movie - which scored him a best actor nomination at the Oscars and a win at the Grammys) did a great job, Russ was generous with his praise of the actor.
“Oh, he did. I know from personal experience that he’s one of the greatest actors out there, so the fact he did an incredible job is absolutely no surprise to me,” Russell said of Joaquin.
“But from the very first notes … when the soundtrack starts, the knife jabs into the heart began … oh god, not only did I want to do the movie, but this is the exact version of the movie I wanted to do.”
Russell also got candid with the hosts around why he rejected the role or Aragon in Lord of the Rings - a part which came with a 10 per cent stake in the movie franchise - because he didn't think director Peter Jackson really wanted him in the part.
"It was 10 per cent of the gross [of the movie franchise]," he revealed of the paycheque that could have been his.
Speaking of a phone conversation he had with Peter Jackson, Russell said he "got the sense he really wasn't that interested" in him being in it, but would accept it if he had to.
Kiwi actor Russell was at the height of his Gladiator fame, which made the actor hot property.
"At the time it was the right decision for me," Russell said.
LISTEN THE THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW