Russell Crowe broke out on the international film scene with 1992’s Aussie import Romper Stomper, but the actor was still relatively new to Hollywood when he was cast by Curtis Hanson as a hard-boiled detective in 1997’s neo-noir thriller L.A. Confidential. (The now-classic film celebrates its 25th anniversary on Sept. 19.)
So no wonder Crowe’s nerves were working overtime when it came to playing opposite the film’s famous femme fatale, Kim Basinger. Particularly in a scene that involved some handsiness.
“There was a moment, sort of a loving moment, and we're kissing or whatever,” Crowe told Yahoo Entertainment during a Role Recall interview (watch above, with L.A. Confidential starting at 1:12).
“And it says in the script that I'm supposed to run my hand down her leg. And… it's Kim Basinger, you know? So you're just being very respectful or whatever. And at one point, she just grabs my hand, and she goes, ‘Like this, Russell!’ It's like, ‘Okie-dokie!’
"So that was a good moment.”
L.A. Confidential was a modest box-office success but a major awards player, earning nine Oscar nominations, including a nod for Best Picture, with Basinger winning Best Supporting Actress (in a role that was widely deemed a comeback for the Batman actress) and Hanson scoring Best Adapted Screenplay.
The film helped make Crowe a star stateside as well. His accolades would soon follow; Crowe won Best Actor for Gladiator just three years later.