Russell Crowe has slammed his Cinderella Man co-star Craig Bierko for claiming he deliberately blanked him on the Canadian set of the boxing movie.

Bierko, who plays German fighter MAX BAER in the new film, recently voiced his surprise that he hardly knows Crowe, despite working alongside him for a month.

He said, "I don't know him from Adam. There was literally not a single moment where I felt like we were actually bonding, or having a conversation."

But Crowe blames the distance between them on the quality of Bierko's acting.

He says, "Craig Bierko has an imagination. His recollection of the experience is significantly different from anyone else's.

"I spent my 40th birthday party on a satellite connection with my wife and child in Australia. Sorry I didn't invite Craig. I didn't think it was relevant.

"The fact is, he hadn't done enough work and he had to be drilled and drilled, and brought up to where we needed him to be - because if Max Baer isn't frightening and isn't capable, then we don't have much of a movie.

"Craig has never been in this kind of situation before. It has never been required of him to put this much work and this much of himself into a role.

"He didn't realise what he was getting into... He realised afterwards."

01/06/2005 17:33