Russell Crowe’s Gladiator Marks Two Decades
As the Russell Crowe/Ridley Scott epic, Gladiator marks two decades since it first hit cinemas, UAE English-language daily newspaper, The National looks back at how Ait Benhaddou in Morocco formed the backdrop to some of the movie’s most famous scenes.
“Are you not entertained?”
It is one of the most famous lines in modern film, uttered by New Zealand-born Crowe’s Maximus Decimus Meridius as he surveys a crowd of stunned spectators after slaying a series of foes in his first gladiatorial match.
But, this memorable Gladiator scene was shot far from Rome, Emma Day writes for The National. Instead, the portion of the historical drama in which Maximus was sold into slavery and trained to become a gladiator was filmed in Morocco. Crowe has since recalled that many of his most famous lines were improvised while shooting in Africa.
“Here was a situation where we got to Morocco with a crew of 200 and a cast of a 100 or whatever, and I didn’t have anything to learn,” Crowe said on Inside the Actors Studio in 2004. “This is how things like, ‘Strength and honour,’ came up. This is how things like, ‘At my signal, unleash hell,’ came up. The name Maximus Decimus Meridius, it just flowed well.”
Crowe was born in Wellington in 1964.
Original article by Emma Day, The National, May 12, 2020.