Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe currently likes directing films more than starring in them, he tells Seth Doane in an interview to be broadcast on CBS' "Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood."
Crowe, who'd previously directed a documentary and short films, makes his feature directing debut with "The Water Diviner," in which he also stars. The historical drama, about a man who travels to Turkey in search of his sons gone missing in the Battle of Gallipoli, has earned a number of awards from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (including Best Film and Best Actor). It arrives at American theaters on April 24.
Crowe says he finds his role behind the camera more appealing than in front.
"It's an understanding what the art form really is," Crowe tells Doane. 'It's understanding that it's about composition. It's about color. It's about levels of emotion, levels of tension."
He called directing "Water Diviner" "the most complete artistic experience that I've ever had, because so much is under your control."
Crowe, who's been nominated for an Best Actor Oscar three times (and won once, for "Gladiator"), tells Doane he eventually would like to direct a film he's not in, but right now, economics are a driving factor:
"Well, here's the simple mathematical equation: If I direct it and I'm in it, I'll have a budget of 'X'. If I direct it, but I'm not in it, I have 'X-minus.' So as a director, you want as many assets as you can possibly have."
Doane visited Crowe at his ranch in Australia, where they also discussed Crowe's acting career, his buying an Australian rugby team in 2006, and his sanctuary far away from Hollywood.
"Well, this is the island, you know?" Crowe says of his 1,400 acres more than 7,000 miles away from Hollywood. "You come in behind the gate and you're not a brand name anymore."
To watch a trailer for "The Water Diviner," click on the video player below.
"Sunday Morning," hosted by Charles Osgood, is broadcast Sundays (9:00-10:30 a.m. ET) on CBS. Rand Morrison is the executive producer. For more information go to cbssundaymorning.com.