In Malta

Russell Crowe is difficult to work with. On the set of Gladiator, he demanded that the whole crew applaud him every time he came on, even on the thirtieth take. He demanded that adulation. This is not a sign of a colossal ego, but an addiction. To be so dependent would be very vulnerable indeed. Oliver Reed, by contrast, would go out drinking with the technicians, not The Star with the lesser mortals but blokes together, anyone who would drink with him.

My friend managed the extras, from the poorer rural areas of the island. They were not particularly well educated. He would tell them where to go, and they would refuse if they did not want to. Several threatened to knife him.

The photo is me on the set of Gladiator, in 2002: it had been left to decay.


He was delighted to find the Maltese café, where we had Maltese-style pastries and Kinnie together. He told the waiter, and they reminisced a bit. He was particularly delighted with Kinnie, the Maltese soft drink which is available on Amazon, made with oranges and tastes a bit like Irn Bru.

He was angry with Quakers, and I took it on myself to apologise on our behalf. He had been a speaker at our LGBT gathering. We had had six speakers each with twenty minutes, and some small group discussion, and Rosie had stood to object. She did not want to listen to the self-important “great and good”, she had come here to have a voice herself. People said that now was not the time to object to the programme for the day, but she persisted. He thought she should have been told to leave if she would not shut up immediately, and was amazed that she actually got five minutes to speak. She had that one brilliant line, there were two people in this body and one of them had to go, but after that she whinged about Bristol Labour Party and the Women’s Committee, and Bristol Quakers, treating her unfairly. These were stories we all knew, and saw little point in hearing again. He got that impression.

He told me she had behaved like a toddler, and should not have got her way. It cannot be pleasant to get your way in that way, always to be fighting, he thinks.

When I told Rosie she went on about being a pioneer campaigner for trans rights, and being a person whose “medical dysfunction” had been corrected, entirely different from “transvestites” who might need changing facilities.

3 thoughts on “In Malta

  1. It is a sad, even depressing that the minorities fight among themselves, flinging their resentments around in that peculiarly unhelpful way – I deserve respect (money, support, help, etc etc) but S/HE down the road is just a scrounger….. It happens all the time. That said, it was probably a good idea to give five minutes, to preserve the rest of the program.

    Like the photos. Caption competition? ‘Look what I found in the park, Mummy.’ xxxxx 🙂


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