Russell Crowe snaps over "Irish" Robin Hood accent

Fri May 14, 2010 3:25pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Actor Russell Crowe stormed out of a BBC radio interview after suggestions that he had made the quintessentially British legend Robin Hood sound Irish in his latest movie.

New Zealand-born Crowe, who was raised in Australia, has been the target of criticism in the British media for his accent in the "Robin Hood" action adventure movie which opened this week with its world premiere held at the Cannes film festival.

BBC radio arts reporter Mark Lawson said he felt his impression from Crowe's performance was that "Robin Hood was an Irishman who took frequent holidays in Australia."

"You've got dead ears, mate -- seriously dead ears if you think there's an Irish accent," Crowe, 46, retorted in the interview, broadcast on Thursday.

Lawson then asked Crowe if the accent was meant to be northern English. Robin Hood, a 13th century archer who according to folklore robbed the rich to give to the poor, lived in a forest near the northern English city of Nottingham.

"No, I was going for an Italian ... missed it? F--- me."

The actor could then be heard muttering: "I don't get the Irish thing by the way. I don't get it at all," as he walked out of the interview.

Crowe, who won an Oscar for his role in the 2000 movie "Gladiator," has a reputation for being bad-tempered which culminated in a 2005 arrest for throwing a telephone at a New York hotel employee. The actor described that incident at the time as "possibly the most shameful situation that I've ever gotten myself into."

(Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

<p>Photographers are reflected in cast member Russell Crowe's glasses as he arrives for the screening of "Robin Hood" by director Ridley Scott and for the opening ceremony of the 63rd Cannes Film Festival May 12, 2010. REUTERS/Yves Herman</p>