The quirky romantic drama, starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst, bombed at the box office, leaving the filmmaker in a slump. But longtime pal and collaborator Cruise, whom Crowe directed in both Jerry Maguire and Vanilla Sky, was determined to get the filmmaker back on his feet.
Crowe tells the New York Times, "I wasn't in a foetal position, but yeah, I was blue... I was deep in the writing cave, and he said, 'Hey man, you need to be directing. You're forgetting the joy, the adrenaline.' He's like, 'Let's go for a drive.'"
The Minority Report star then dragged Crowe to Judd Apatow's Los Angeles Knocked Up set, so the pair could experience movie magic again.
Crowe adds, "Cruise sidles up to me and goes: 'See? Get out of your house, man, it's fun.' And that's when I felt like, 'Yeah, it's time to direct again.'"
Crowe's return to feature films, We Bought a Zoo, hits cinemas in December (11).