Russell Crowe disputes a claim that he had a rough audition to star opposite Julia Roberts in the 1997 romantic comedy My best friend’s wedding.
Crowe went to Twitter on Friday to address the film’s director, PJ Hogan, who author Scott Meslow told in the book From Hollywood with love that Crowe sat at a table and read with Roberts during the casting process. Hogan called it “one of the worst table reads I’ve ever witnessed” and said it was becoming clear that Crowe, who Hogan said was a rising star, was not a good fit for the film.
In his tweet, Crowe said the audition never happened and that he has never read with Roberts. “Pure imagination on behalf of this director,” wrote the Oscar winner. “I didn’t audition for this movie. I have never done a table read with the said actress. It would be funny if it wasn’t so pointless.”
Hogan’s comments made headlines Vulture published an excerpt from the book in February, which Crowe apparently knew nothing about until recently. In the passage, Hogan said that Crowe was his first choice for the role of Michael, the title’s best friend who was eventually played in Dermot Mulroney’s film; Hogan’s wife, Jocelyn Moorhouse, had directed Crowe in the 1991 Australian film Proof.
“I don’t know what went wrong,” Hogan said in the book about Crowe’s audition. “It was one of the worst table readings I’ve ever experienced. Russell sat opposite Julia. He grabbed that script, and he stared at that script, and he didn’t look at her once. He read every line monotonously. At one point, Julia was literally leaning over the table, staring, like, inches of Russell’s face, trying to make eye contact. And he wouldn’t look at her. At the end of the talk, Russell came up to me and said, “I thought that went pretty well.” And then me knew: Russell wouldn’t be there My best friend’s wedding.”
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Hogan’s representative for comment.