What The Cast Of "Gladiator" Looks Like After Two Decades?

Gladiator is a 2000 epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott (the director of Alien and Blade Runner). It stars a huge cast that includes Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, Derek Jacobi, John Shrapnel, Richard Harris, and Tommy Flanagan, many of which would later become huge stars.
Crowe portrays Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius, who is betrayed when Commodus, the ambitious son of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, murders his father and seizes the throne. Reduced to slavery, Maximus becomes a gladiator and rises through the ranks of the arena to avenge the murders of his family and his emperor.
It was released on May 5, 2000, and received 119 nominations. It won 49 awards, 5 of which were Oscars, including Best Supporting Actor and Best Director.
22 years have gone by since the release of the film, we would like to take a look at what the cast currently looks like now. We will also feature interesting facts and things that happened during filming.

#1 Russell Crowe (Maximus Decimus Meridius)

Source: russellcrowe / Instagram

Russell Crowe is an actor, film producer, director, and musician. He came to international attention from starring in the historical epic Gladiator. After this, he earned numerous awards and has appeared in films like The Nice Guys, The Mummy, and Man of Steel. He will soon appear as Zeus in Thor: Love and Thunder.

#2 Connie Nielsen (Lucilla)

Source: cn_connienielsen / Instagram

Connie Nielsen has starred in other films, like Mission to Mars, One Hour Photo, and The Hunted. In the film Brothers, Connie won the Danish award for best actress, the same award she received at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. She has been featured in the DCEU as the Warrior Queen Hippolyta. Her most recent participation was in the film Nobody.

#3 Joaquin Phoenix (Commodus)

Source: farmsanctuary / Instagram

Joaquin Rafael Phoenix is an American actor, environmentalist, animal rights activist, and producer. He has received numerous awards for his acting. After a fake retirement announcement in 2008, he has been seen in such well-known films as Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, Mary Magdalene, and received critical acclaim for Joker. His most recent performance was in C’mon C’mon. He is once again collaborating with director Ridley Scott in his upcoming epic Napoleon, in which he'll play the titular French Emperor.

#4 Djimon Hounsou (Juba)

Source: The King's Man / 20th Century Studios and co-producers

Djimon Gaston Hounsou is a Beninese-American actor and model. He gained recognition for his roles in Gladiator, In America, and Blood Diamond. In Marvel films, he plays the role of Korath the Pursuer. In addition, in DC Comics films, he brought to life King Ricou in Aquaman and the ancient wizard Shazam in Shazam! His next appearance will be as the voice of Sumo in the film Blazing Samurai.

#5 Derek Jacobi (Senator Gracchus)

Source: FolgerLibrary / YouTube

Derek Jacobi is an English actor and theatre director. He has appeared in films like Grace of Monaco, My Week with Marilyn, and Ironclad. Interestingly, he was knighted in 1994 and is also a member of the Danish Order of the Dannebrog. His last appearance was in the television series The Crown.

#6 Tommy Flanagan (Cicero)

Source: Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher / Chickasaw Nation Productions

Tommy Flanagan is a Scottish actor known for his distinct scar, which was known as a Glasgow smile that he had gotten from a robbery. He has performed in the series Sons of Anarchy and in the films Gladiator and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. His most recent participation was in the television series Westworld.

#7 Ralf Möller (Hagen)

Source: ralf.moeller / Instagram

Ralf Rudolf Möller is a German actor and former professional bodybuilder. The most important role of his career was in Gladiator. His last acting appearance was in Sabotage in 2014. But he is expected to appear in Kung Fury 2 as Thor.

#8 David Schofield (Senator Falco)

Source: Dave J Hogan / Getty Images Entertainment/ Getty Images

David Schofield is an English actor. He has earned credits in television series such as Band of Gold, Footballers’ Wives, and Holby City. You may not recognize him but he was Ian Mercer in the Pirates of the Caribbean films (the guy who got a facehug from Davy Jones). His last appearance as an actor was in the series The Adventures of Paddington and Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators.

#9 Spencer Treat Clark (Lucius Verus)

Source: streatclark / Instagram

Spencer Treat Clark is an American actor. He rose to fame with his work in the films Gladiator and Unbreakable. Since then, he has appeared in films such as Mystic River, The Last House on the Left, Much Ado About Nothing, and, most recently, Glass, the sequel to Unbreakable where he reprised his role.

#10 Sven-Ole Thorsen (Tigris of Gaul)

Source: svenothorsen / Instagram

Sven-Ole Thorsen is a Danish actor and bodybuilder. He won the award for the strongest man in Denmark in 1983. And using his stature he often plays imposing giants and villains in his films who are somehow beaten by smaller opponents in a David and Goliath manner, but he has also played heroic characters such as Gunnar the legendary warrior in The Viking Sagas. His autobiography Stærk mand i Hollywood (Strong Man in Hollywood) was published on 26 October 2007 and was very well-reviewed.

#11 Giorgio Cantarini (Maximus’ son)

Source: giorgiocantarini / Instagram

Giorgio Cantarini is an Italian actor. He participated in the film Gladiator as a child actor. Before that, he appeared in Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella), a film that won 3 Oscars. His most recent work was in the Italian series Distretto di Polizia.

Bonus: Interesting things during production

#1 An actor died before the end of filming

Source: Gladiator / DreamWorks and co-producers

Oliver Reed passed away almost midway through filming the movie. As his role as Proximo was considered an important character, and a clause in the production’s insurance contract would have allowed re-shooting Reed’s scenes with another actor, but most of the cast and crew were exhausted and the director did not want to eliminate Reed from the film. The script was rewritten and a body double, as well as VFX techniques, was used to finish filming.

#2 Creation of the wardrobe

Source: Gladiator / DreamWorks and co-producers

Gladiator had over 10,000 costumes for the entire cast and extras. It was all designed by costume designer Janty Yates and her team.

#3 Meaning of the thumbs down

Source: Gladiator / DreamWorks and co-producers

If we see this action through the “filter” of modernity, we would think that, when the emperor makes a gesture with his thumb upward, it means that a gladiator was to be spared. And if the thumb points downward, it is the opposite. But, in reality, it was the other way around: thumb up meant sword action, therefore, the gladiator would not be spared, and down, it was a sheathed sword, indicating mercy to the gladiator. This was clear to the production team, but since the thumbs-up is now considered to be synonymous with something positive, they decided to not confuse viewers unnecessarily.
It may seem counter-intuitive to modern audiences, but the thumbs up and thumbs down gestures had the opposite meaning in Roman times. In those days, a thumb up meant sword action, therefore, the gladiator would not be spared, and a thumbs down meant a sheathed sword, indicating mercy to the gladiator. The production team understood this at the time, but since in modern culture thumbs up meant something positive, they decided to use a bit of artistic license.

#4 The description of Maximus’ house

Source: Gladiator / DreamWorks and co-producers

Maximus’ description of his house is the exact layout of Russell’s house in Australia. He also added the smell of the kitchen to give a sentimental moment to that scene which was totally improvised.
When Maximus described his house it was actually Russell describing his own house in Australia. He even added the smell of the kitchen improvisationally to give the scene something extra.

#5 Trained tigers

Source: Gladiator / DreamWorks and co-producers

In one of Maximus’ fights, there were 5 tigers in the arena. Behind the scenes, there was a veterinarian with a tranquilizer gun in case things went wrong. Luckily nothing did, as they were cautious and Russell stayed 4.5 meters away from the tigers during the entire scene.

#6 Practically unscripted

Source: Gladiator / DreamWorks and co-producers

According to Russell himself, at the time filming began, the original Gladiator script was only 21 pages long, which was closer to a treatment. A film of that magnitude should have at least 100 pages. Of course, it had no dénouement, they were writing it as they went along and figuring out how they would do everything the next day.

#7 George, the horse

Source: Robin Hood / Universal Pictures and co-producers

The horse named George that Russell Crowe rides in the film is the same one that appears in the film Robin Hood. Russell commented that they had a great connection from the beginning, and that on their reunion 10 years later, when Russell went to greet George, he jokingly said, “Can you believe we won an Academy Award?”

#8 Modern shoes

Source: Gladiator / DreamWorks and co-producers

In the battle scene of the coliseum, you can see how one of the actors is actually wearing modern shoes. This was a slip up by the producers.

#9 A cameraman inside the spectators

Source: Gladiator / DreamWorks and co-producers

In Maximus’ first battle, it can be clearly seen how, among the spectators, there is a man dressed with clothes from this era and with a camera.
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