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Russell Crowe talks about his Iron Fists

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Russell Crowe left for Shanghai last week to commence filming “The Man with the Iron Fists”, a martial-arts actioner directed by and co-starring musician RZA.

Out stumping “The Next Three Days” down under, Crowe told The Herald-Sun that RZA aka Bobby Diggs didn’t have to beg the studio or himself to do his chop-suey flick.

“Bobby’s been a martial arts enthusiast his whole life and Universal has given him a $20 million budget to live out his martial arts fantasy,” Crowe says.

Crowe says the rapper has come to Australia to do various favours, including some for his rugby league team, South Sydney.

“Imagine that the team walks into the studio and RZA from Wu-Tang Clan is there to teach them how to rap,” he says.

“You have to repay the favours in life, you know.

“So when The Man With the Iron Fists came up, I accepted it. It’s an opportunity for me to have fun.”

Over at The Courier Mail, Crowe talks a little about the character he’ll be playing in the film (written by RZA and Eli Roth).

Does he have to get very fit for it?

“No, not at all,” Crowe replies. “I’m not doing the martial arts.”

That may be news to RZA. Interviewed last year about Crowe’s role, he said “Russell’s gonna be the baddest man alive…That man is in fighting shape. That man will knock you out.”

The film, which stars RZA as the title character, a blacksmith who forges weapons for the inhabitants of a village in feudal China when they are forced to defend themselves, has also attracted the likes of ‘Charlies Angel’ Lucy Liu, Daniel Wu and Byron Mann (“Red Corner”).

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