Crowe and Keller’s shock radio spat
Russell Crowe took a surprising swipe at WSFM radio hosts Jonesy and Amanda during an interview with their rivals Fitzy and Wippa yesterday - and, as Amanda Keller explained on-air this morning, there was even more drama happening behind the scenes.
The Kiwi actor was doing the publicity rounds yesterday to promote his new miniseries The Loudest Voice, available locally on streaming service Stan - and was due to appear on Jonesy and Amanda's show to spruik the series.
"He's cancelled. I'll tell you why - he'd only come on to talk about (The Loudest Voice) if we'd play his song," Keller revealed today.
"When's this become a thing? Is that a thing now? I didn't even know he had a new song," said Jonesy.
"He wanted us to play it - I didn't want to play it," said Keller, before playing a brief snippet of the track by Crowe's band Indoor Garden Party.
"We said we wouldn't be blackmailed this way. (The songs are) fine, but we didn't want to be blackmailed this way. He went on Fitzy and Wippa - they agreed to play his song! Why would you?" she asked.
"No wonder they rate less than us," Jonesy quipped.
The pair also played listeners an excerpt from Crowe's interview with Fitzy and Wippa, in which an alarm at the actor's hotel had momentarily interrupted the discussion.
"This is Amanda and Jonesy trying to screw with you guys! I cancelled on them because they've got really bad taste in music, so they're just trying to get you back …" Crowe had joked.
Keller didn't mince words about the A-list actor.
"What has annoyed me about this is that this is a fantastic piece of television that he promoted. I read a really interesting Hollywood Reporter interview about it. THREE TIMES in that interview he says, 'I'm an actor, OK?' So today, he wants to be a musician. If we want to talk about this, we have to play his music - and that's really annoyed me," she said.
"You can't say 'I'm coming on to do this' and then shoehorn the other one in. He's not on."
News.com.au has this morning contacted Stan for comment.
Russell's big regret
Elsewhere in his chat with Fitzy and Wippa yesterday, Crowe has opened up about the "dream" role he regrets turning down.
Crowe, 55, revealed that he'd been approached to play Johnny Cash in 2005 biopic Walk The Line, alongside actress Reese Witherspoon as June Carter.
"It was one of those funny things with an internal morality, it was like, 'This is a dream job for me'," he said.
"I'd been playing, singing Johnny Cash songs since I was a little boy. But I felt that I would be then getting stuff that I hadn't earned, that I'd be climbing on Johnny Cash's back to get Grammy nominations or something, it just felt wrong to me."
Joaquin Phoenix eventually landed the role, later scoring him Best Actor nominations at both the Oscars and Golden Globes.
"I know from personal experience that he's one of the greatest actors out there, so the fact he did an incredible job is absolutely no surprise to me," Crowe said of Phoenix.
"But from the very first notes … when the soundtrack starts, the knife jab into my heart starts … oh god, not only did I want to do the movie, but this was the exact version of the movie I wanted to do."
Keller goes for Gold
Amanda Keller's surprise spat with Crowe comes just days after she made it clear she's not amused by Tom Gleeson's negative campaign for the Gold Logie.
Keller and Gleeson are both up for the top gong at Sunday's event along with Costa Georgiadis, Eve Morey, Sam Mac, Rodger Corser and Waleed Aly.
Gleeson has spent the past few weeks releasing mock attack ads about his fellow nominees and trashing them in the press. He's also been open about the fact he wants to win the Gold Logie purely to highlight just how "preposterous" the awards are.
Gleeson's behaviour hasn't impressed Keller, who admitted to news.com.au she was "struggling" with the ABC comedian's campaign.
"It's hard because Tom is playing a different game, and that's what I'm finding I'm struggling with to the honest," The Living Room host said.
"It's always been that the nominees are a happy soup, and I still want us to be a happy soup, there's no need to make it personal and pick us all off. I know Tom's playing a comedic game, but really, I'm just happy to be in the soup."