MY GRAND GRANDSON
26 March 2001 (excerpt)
Russell Crowe's proud gran told last night how she shouted at the screen when she thought his Gladiator character was about to die. Speaking of her pride at her grandson's Oscar triumph, Joy Wemyss said she couldn't handle seeing him hurt, even if it was only make-believe. Joy was watching the movie at a private showing for family and friends in her home town of Auckland, New Zealand, when hero Maximus was facing death in a fight.
"It was a wonderful movie but I couldn't take it when I thought he was going to be killed. I stood up and shouted, 'No, no, leave him alone, don't hurt him'. "People were laughing and I heard Russell say, 'Joy, sit down'."
Joy also told of the pride her war hero husband Stan would have felt if he had been alive to see 36-year-old Russell pick up his Best Actor Oscar on Sunday wearing his grandad's MBE. She was convinced she could feel his presence as she sat and watched the awards ceremony on TV. "I've never been a believer in ghosts but when I saw the medal on Russell's chest I knew Stan was with me here. I felt his presence so strongly in the room with me. Stan would have sat here crying, as I was, with pride. He thought the world of Russell and he was really soft hearted."
"... Russell Crowe, you filled a whole arena with the force of your face and put the human back in the hero." Excerpt from Academy Award, Best Picture acceptance speech by Douglas Wick.