Actor Russell Crowe credits historical English figures for inspiring him to be "the best actor that I can be".

The Master And Commander: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD star's admiration for legendary seafarers CAPTAIN COOK and CAPTAIN BLIGH is so great he dragged his wife Danielle Spencer on a tour retracing the former explorer's journey to Australia during their honeymoon.

He says, "I have a great deal of respect for the achievements of English-speaking people in general, but in particular the ROYAL NAVY. Men like Captain Bligh and Captain Cook.

"I followed as part of my honeymoon Bligh's journey through the Great Barrier Reef to Restoration Island, which he named. Bligh was in control and he was a great seaman. In those days, the British had the worst ships but they made the best sailors."

Crowe cites Bligh - who is often portrayed in books and films as a violent, evil man - as a leading influence on his life, because he didn't let his bad reputation prevent his aspirations to be a fine sailor.

He adds, "I look at what Bligh did, and forget all the negativity. I want to be just as successful in my career. Not in terms of the trappings, but in terms of being the best actor that I can be."

28/11/2003 14:24