Russell Crowe Mocks 'Madame Web' Star For Her Disappointment With Comic Book Movies

Russell Crowe is tired of actors expecting to find “life-changing” depth on the sets of comic book movies.

The Oscar winner was reflecting on his life and career when the conversation turned to Dakota Johnson, who starred in “Madame Web” earlier this year to disastrous box office results. Johnson subsequently complained that the critical flop, produced by Sony and based on Marvel characters, was “made by committee.”

“You’re telling me you signed up for a Marvel movie, and some fucking universe for cartoon characters... and you didn’t get enough pathos?” Crowe laughingly told British GQ in a piece published Thursday. “Not quite sure how I can make this better for you.”

“It’s a gigantic machine, and they make movies at a certain size,” he continued.

While he admitted that “the impish quality” of his humor had been triggered by the question, Crowe was nonetheless baffled that anyone is expecting creative control or guaranteed success from a role in a superhero franchise. He explained simply: “These are jobs.”

“You know: Here’s your role, play the role,” he said. ”If you’re expecting this to be some kind of life-changing event, I just think you’re here for the wrong reasons.”

Crowe ― who has really been in his speak-your-truth era these past few years ― has some familiarity with this turf, having starred in the Superman flick “Man of Steel,” Marvel’s “Thor: Love and Thunder” and Sony’s upcoming “Kraven the Hunter.”

Russell Crowe admitted he was employing some
Russell Crowe admitted he was employing some "impish" humor in addressing Dakota Johnson's comments. Pool Insabato Rovaris/Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images

Johnson, who had not previously starred in a superhero franchise, dished on “Madame Web’s” failure in March.

“It’s so hard to get movies made, and in these big movies that get made — and it’s even starting to happen with the little ones... decisions are being made by committees,” she told Bustle at the time. “Art does not do well when it’s made by committee.”

Crowe expressed some sympathy for the notion that “you can have a shit experience on a film,” and while he added that “it can be challenging working in a blue-screen world,” he argued that it isn’t “the Marvel process” to make bad movies or disappoint their actors (though, again, “Madame Web” was produced by Sony and not Marvel Studios).

“I’m not sure you can say that,” Crowe said. “I haven’t had a bad experience.”