Actor and musician Russell Crowe has blasted those who say he should stick to acting.
The Gladiator star began his career as a musician, performing under the name Russ Le Roq and releasing several singles in his native New Zealand.
He put his musical ambitions on hold when his acting career took off, although he continued to release music with his now defunct band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts.
The Oscar winner is back with a new group, Russell Crowe’s Indoor Garden Party, and has hit out at those who say he should give up music.
“I went through a period of time where people thought I shouldn’t be involved in music because I was famous in something else,” he tells London’s Evening Standard newspaper.
“To me it’s ridiculous – you take away music out of my life and you’re taking away some of the most important moments and individual experiences in my life.”
The 53-year-old is joined in the band by his Les Miserables castmate Samantha Barks, his Robin Hood co-stars Alan Doyle and Scott Grimes and songwriter and guitarist Carl Falk.
Russell, whose singing performance in Les Miserables was poorly received by some, has no time for his critics, and claims they haven’t understood his music.
“I’d played guitar from a young age, it was something natural to me,” he adds. “If you criticize it, go ahead, whatever, But in a funny way, and maybe I’m being over-protective of it, when people are overly critical of my music, I know they haven’t listened to it properly.
“Because if they could simply listen to it with an objective ear, beyond whatever they think of my reputation or my acting, there is a reason that I write songs and it’s a really good reason.”
Russell Crowe’s Indoor Garden Party are playing two dates in the U.K. in September (17), at London’s Union Chapel and Leeds’ City Varieties Music Hall.