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This Sons of Anarchy star was crucial to Russell Crowe’s best movie

Russell Crowe has been reflecting on Gladiator's troubled production and credits one particular Sons of Anarchy star with helping solve a story problem on set.


Sons of Anarchy was a quintessentially American tale, featuring the vast California landscape, outlaws, brotherhood, redemption, crime, and of course – sweet rides made of glistening chrome and steel. Despite this, the main Sons of Anarchy cast featured a couple of British actors in key roles. Star Charlie Hunnam (Jax) is from Newcastle, and Tommy Flanagan (Chibs) is from Glasgow.

Russell Crowe recently spoke to Vanity Fair about his career, beginning in the early 90s with roles in Australian movies such as Proof and Romper Stomper, as well as the obligatory stop off in Ramsay Street. Following his break-through roles in western The Quick and the Dead (1995), noir LA Confidential (1997), and thriller movie The Insider (1999), Crowe was launched into major stardom with Ridley Scott’s Gladiator (2000) and won the Best Actor Oscar to boot.

Crowe credits Sons of Anarchy’s Tommy Flanagan with having a crucial role during the Gladiator’s troubled production, as it was being filmed with an unfinished script. “Ridley Scott wanted to shoot me doing this after-battle prayer, and there were these trinkets on the shelf that the art department had left there. So, I picked up these figurines and directed the prayer towards them, as if they were my wife and child. That ended up becoming this huge story point, but that was created on the night.”

Crowe continues; “There was an actor in the room there, playing a guy called Cicero. A guy called Tommy Flanagan. He was booked as a day player, for one day’s work. And we shot that scene, and Ridley was like ‘there’s something about those figurines that we have to work out, so we need to hang onto that actor.'”

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Crowe concludes; “That led to Tommy Flanagan being flown to Malta for months (laughs), he was there for months. We still didn’t know what we were gonna do, but we knew we were going to come back to his character. So we came up with the idea of him not only coming to see Maximus, but bringing the figurines.” Flanagan would end up swapping figurines for a sweet hog, and the rest is history.

Find out everything we know so far about Gladiator 2, which is shaping up to have quite the ensemble cast. And for SOA fans, find out everything we know about Mayans MC season 5.