Thor: Love And Thunder's Russell Crowe Had The Best Reaction To His Brilliant Zeus Costume

Russell Crowe has more than earned his reputation as one of the film industry’s greatest dramatic talents – reflected in the attention he has gotten from the Academy Awards (including a Best Actor prize for 2001’s Gladiator), and in the rave reviews he has received for films like L.A. Confidential, The Insider and A Beautiful Mind (the latter two also earning him Oscar nominations). When it comes to doing comedy, however, he is also very much a guy who understands the assignment, so to speak, and that was very much the case in the making of Thor: Love And Thunder.

The Australian star plays the Olympian god Zeus in the new Marvel blockbuster, and co-star Chris Hemsworth and writer/director Taika Waititi had nothing but nice things to say about him while discussing his performance last month during an interview at the Thor: Love And Thunder press day in Los Angeles. I asked the men about their experience working with Russell Crowe and specifically about his costume – which consists of a shiny breast plate and what could be called a frilled mini skirt. According to Waititi, Crowe’s reaction to seeing the get-up was instant recognition of tone and enthusiasm to “play along.” Said the filmmaker,

Yeah, it's a nice little homage to Gladiator with the breast plate and stuff. And then also like the little tutu thing…But also full credit to him, you know, he's a powerhouse of an actor. And to be able to embrace that and go, 'Ok, I know what they're doing.' He was like, 'Ok, I'll play along.'

Without giving away too much about the plot of Thor: Love And Thunder, Chris Hemsworth’s titular God of Thunder travels with Mighty Thor (Natalie Portman), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and Korg (Taika Waititi) in the movie to see Zeus when they learn that Gorr The God Butcher (Christian Bale) is traveling around the universe killing every god he comes across. The extended sequence with Zeus is a highlight of the film, and as I write in my CinemaBlend review of the blockbuster, Russell Crowe is a brilliant scene stealer (and he’s apparently a natural with a thunderbolt).

A perfect demonstration of Crowe leaning into the goofiness of Zeus is seen in the film with the character daintily lifting his skirt as he walks – and that was evidently an improvised idea that the actor brought to the table. Chris Hemsworth was clearly impressed by his co-stars comedic sensibilities, and he notes that he thinks that audiences are going to be surprised by what he does. Said Hemsworth,

That self-deprecating kind of 'make a fool of myself' kind of attitude that he was down for was, was brilliant and brought another surprising element to the space that I don't think audiences would've expected.

Thor: Love And Thunder – which features the Guardians of the Galaxy roster in addition to all of the stars mentioned earlier, is now playing in theaters across the country. If you haven’t seen the film yet and need to do some prep work before you do, check out our Marvel Movies In Order feature, and if you go see the blockbuster and want to learn about everything coming in the future, you’re going to want to read our Upcoming Marvel Movies and Upcoming Marvel TV guides.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.