During the filming of "Gladiator", Crowe allegedly threatened to kill a 77-year old producer, for not giving Crowe's assistants the salary Crowe demanded for them.
If that is true - which it may well not be - then in my dreams the producer would respond to Crowe with something like "Say that again, so I can sue your bitch ass out of existence."
Maybe Crowe had a bad moment. And the alleged argument was over salaries for Crowe's assistants, so he is at least in theory trying to benefit someone else. It just seems like a typical grown man's tantrum - when you can't get your way, scream and yell until you do.
And this macho posturing is never directed at those of equal or greater power. Just those in some way weaker. As primate psychology, it makes perfect sense. As a human being, I think it fucking stinks.
It can work for a lot of people a fair amount of the time - in the short term. In the long term, people who act like this live increasingly crappy lives. People do less for them, work less with them, and can actively work against them. So is the real-life implementation of karma - for most people.
But stars are a little different. The consequences can be very long delayed. Their money fame and power cause others to tolerate their tantrums. Unlike businessmen, they don't even have to show a logical pretense for their tantrums.
So while this destructive behavior would put a common man into a legal situation of Check Yourself v. Wreck Yourself, Crowe's insulated from the worst effects - at least, as long as his name continues to put butts in the seats.
In a common man, this behavior would also be a sign of someone about to lose it. But Crowe probably isn't crazy - at least not yet. You do have to be in basic control of yourself in order to be excellent at a craft. Which, to give the man his due, he is.
What this sounds like instead, is a fake flex of crazy. Which is far more common in LA than elsewhere. People can *pretend* to be crazy to get what they want, because a) there really are so many literally insane people here, that LA's economically middle-class and upper-class people would rather back away than take the risk, b) people drive everywhere and work inside, so they just aren't used to unwanted interactions, and c) even if they are crazy, they can still affect your career with their money or connections. So many people's immediate response is to back off for various reasons.
But this guy Crowe allegedly threatened is, once again, 77 and a producer. How much further up the ladder do you have left to climb? Wouldn't you rather not take shit instead? I ask you. Let alone that he's also a holocaust survivor. Wtf. (If this story is true, Crowe should be kidnapped at night and beaten senseless by Israeli commandos.)
But I digress. The elderly producer guy was probably not worried by any alpha-male shaved-chest chest-beating. He was probably far more scared of Crowe leaving the film halfway through, and leaving behind a multi-million-dollar miscarriage. So those with fame and power who know how to flex crazy get what they want out of sheer bullying, and are so rarely called on it that they actually don't seem to understand its happening when it happens.
And that right there makes LA a far worse place to live. Which, call me crazy, is a goddamn shame.
On the other hand, Joachim Phoenix who also starred in "Gladiator" is also a *great* actor - who may actually be going crazy. A key indicator: his erratic behavior isn't somehow increasing his status.
Then again, he may be pulling another kind of fake crazy - an Andy Kaufman. Which at least is a crazy I can tolerate.