He fought off tigers without a scratch in “Gladiator” and hardly got his feet wet as a naval captain in “Master and Commander.”
But actor Russell Crowe got TKO’d before shooting a single frame of boxing film “Cinderella Man.”
The Oscar-winning star suffered a dislocated shoulder while training in the ring for his upcoming role as 1935 world heavyweight champion James Braddock, Universal Pictures studio said Friday.
The mishap, which occurred in Sydney, Australia, is expected to delay the start of production on the film by about a month, with principal photography now set to begin in early April, the studio said.
Universal said Crowe, 39, would immediately undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair the injury in Australia, followed by intense physical therapy.
The studio said he injured a different portion of the same shoulder while training for “Flora Plum,” a film about circus performers that never got made.
“Cinderella Man,” co-starring Renee Zellweger and Craig Bierko, reunites Crowe with producer Brian Grazer and director Ron Howard, the same creative team behind the Oscar-winning film “A Beautiful Mind.”
That film earned Crowe his third Academy Award nomination. He previously was nominated for “The Insider” and won the Oscar for his title role in “Gladiator.” He is currently in theaters as Capt. Jack Aubrey in “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.”
“I’ve never known any actor who dedicates himself to a part with more intensity than Russell,” Grazer said. “All of us wish him a fast recovery because we simply cannot wait to see him apply his talent and training to this part.”
Crowe will star in the Depression-era story about Braddock’s fairy-tale rise from a poor, local fighter to the world heavyweight champion in an upset boxing victory over Max Baer in 1935.