A little-known fact: one of the earliest works by Russell Crowe, the Australian who won Best Actor in last night's Academy Awards, was a pastoral recruitment video for the Seventh Day Adventist Church. In the film, the 18-year-old Crowe played a farm worker who decides to devote his life to the church. Crowe says he did A Very Special Person only because he needed the acting experience: "I didn't have anything official showing I had studied this art form." The film's director of photography, Russell Gibbs, says the film was influential: "It was shown in colleges and high schools to encourage people to become priests. He actually spoke to real ministers in researching for the role and admitted he found the whole thing very interesting." Weblog is sure there's a joke about Christians and gladiators in here somewhere, but he's past deadline...Underneath the main headline on the Christianity Today news round-up page at http://ctlibrary.com/8032, Russell Crowe is said to have been a "Seventh-Day Adventist minister," but it is not clear if this is literally true:
[The subheading for this article is linked to: http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_252338.html (see below)
"Russell Crowe was a Seventh-Day Adventist minister before he was a gladiator, CBN layoffs, and other stories from the world's mainstream media sources."From: "Russell Crowe makes young Australians turn to religion" on Ananova (news website), (http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_252338.html; viewed 28 July 2005):
Hundreds of Australians have become priests of a religious group thanks to Russell Crowe.
Crowe stars in a video which helps encourage young people to become ministers in the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
In the video, commissioned by the church, Crowe plays a farm worker who decides to devote his life to the Christian group.
Crowe made the film when he was just 18 and a struggling actor in his homeland. It is used to encourage youngsters to give up a normal life and devote themselves to the religious group.
Crowe admits he made the movie to gain experience: "I didn't have anything official showing I had studied this art form," he said.
"I thought the only way to combat this is just to do as much as you can. You do work in as many mediums as you can, you do everything until you've learned from that.
"So I did what I could for it, whether it was a training film for the Seventh Day Adventist Church, a television commercial or just stuff to get in front of the camera."
Church member Russell Gibbs worked as Director of Photography on the film, which was called A Very Special Person.
He says Crowe's involvement has been instrumental in encouraging people to join the church.
"It was shown in colleges and high schools to encourage people to become priests. He actually spoke to real ministers in researching for the role and admitted he found the whole thing very interesting."