EVEN gladiators have to practice their sword fighting – as Russell Crowe proved when he stopped off to brush up on his skills in Stratford.
The Hollywood superstar paid a visit to Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust on Wednesday July 6, where he bought two toy swords and had a play fight with his son.
He even had time for a hot drink after talking to local coffee shop owner David Lawson-Evans of HR Cafe in Windsor Street.
The 52-year-old Australian – famed for his role as Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius in the 2000 hit film Gladiator, from which he won a Best Actor Oscar – asked the cafe owner how good his coffee was before ordering two drinks for himself and his son.
David told the Observer: “I was talking to a driver who said he was waiting for his boss, then I saw Russell Crowe and son playing in the car park.
“I approached him and had a brief chat about my son who is at university studying film. He wished him well and then inquired about what I did. I told him I had HR Cafe and he asked if the coffee was any good – I told him it is the best in Stratford, as all of us independents do, and he asked for 2 flat whites.
“Russell complemented us on the standard of the coffee before getting into his black Range Rover and leaving for Warwick Castle.”
Dressed in a tracksuit and trainers, the actor spent some time at the castle, surprising bosses who had no idea he was coming to visit.
They only realised when the actor, who was also nominated for Best Actor Oscars for his role in The Inside and A Beautiful Mind, posted a picture to his Twitter account.
He also tweeted: “What an excellent adventure for kids. Some great characters on the dungeon tour!”