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Russell Crowe: Gladiator

During the production of Gladiator, Russell Crowe was required to appear in several complex fight scenes with tigers who 'refused to follow directions'. Indeed, to Crowe's dismay, these sequences took twelve grueling days to shoot.

While relaxing on a rare day off, Crowe received a memo from the studio asking him not to play soccer because he might get hurt.

Crowe, peeved, sent a memo in return: "I can wrestle with four tigers, but I can't play a game of soccer? Get over it. Love, Russell."

[Among the injuries sustained by Crowe on the set? "I broke a bone in my foot," he recalled. "I fractured a hipbone. I had both bicep tendons pop out of their shoulder sockets -- fortunately for me, at different times, so I still had one arm I could use."]

[One day in 1980, Cantonese police caught some young men scraping out tiger cages at the Canton zoo. Tiger dung, they soon learned, was being sold on the black market; used as a dog-repellent, it scared away the bloodhounds used by Chinese army units to pursue fugitives and illegal immigrants fleeing to Honk Kong.]

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