Russell Crowe, Indie Rock Nerd

If you only read one trashy piece of celebrity puffery in the line at Ralph’s this month, read the Russell Crowe interview in the new GQ, in which Crowe endears himself to that important taste-making demographic, pudgy rock critics in their late thirties. (Watch out, John Cusack.)

A lot of people seem to think, This stuff is one big selling machine, so chill out.

I absolutely have – in my mind, in my heart, in my being – the credibility required to be a serious artist, as laid down by NME in 1976. That’s what I fucking believe in, and I’ll never change.

What sort of stuff inspired you in that era?

Individual artists? Elvis Costello. The Pistols-but the Pistols was just a laugh.

I don’t think it seemed like a laugh at the time. I don’t know if you’re being wise after the event. It was a laugh, but it mattered, too.

[nods] It really mattered. It really mattered… And Sham 69, the Only Ones’ “Another Girl, Another Planet,” the Buzzcocks…

Elsewhere in the interview Crowe discusses Al Qaeda’s purported plan to kidnap him, which the FBI took seriously enough to assign him a security detail — “it was about taking iconographic Americans out of the picture as a sort of cultural-destabilization plan.”

A genuinely strange movie star interview.