Hollywood A-Lister Russell Crowe has admitted he feels an "edge of jealousy" towards Paul Mescal ahead of his starring role in Gladiator.
Crowe told The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1 that the sequel, in which Mescal plays Lucius, the son of Lucilla, is set "long beyond Maximus’ passing".
The Australian actor famously played Maximus in the smash-hit movie, which was released 23 years ago, winning him an Oscar.
Praising Mescal, Crowe said: "I hear that young fella Paul is a good dude and I wish him the best of luck with it.
READ MORE: Gladiator sequel filming is 'delayed' as rumoured star Paul Mescal heads to the West End
"I think where they're picking the story up from, a young Lucius, stepping into the role of emperor, I think that's a very smart idea within the world of the film that we created.
"No doubt I'll end up having hundreds of friends of mine working on it. I already know designers and leather workers making the armour (for the movie).
"I don't want to dwell on it too much because it does take me back to a period of time when obviously I was significantly younger.
"And you know, the rose-coloured glasses of that experience now (are) perfectly crystallised."
Crowe said he looked back on the memories of the first Gladiator movie and knows he "loved every minute of it" despite the reported drama on set at the time.
However, he added: "That wasn't actually the case at the time.
"But I do like being on a period movie set. I don't know why. Stepping into those sort of costumes and those sorts of situations and stuff – it has great appeal to me.
"So, what I'm getting at is that there's a slight edge of jealousy, to have that experience that I had once."
Crowe is set to star in the horror, The Pope’s Exorcist, which was filmed in Dublin last summer.
The star shared stories of playing tennis with Tubridy and friends on Sundays after filming had wrapped each week.
Speaking to Russell, Ryan said: "You very kindly said 'Come and play some tennis' and we did.
"You were very, very good at mentoring an inadequate player to bring me to just sub-standard.
"In fairness to you, you're a good teacher."
The Gladiator star burst out laughing and made a joke at Ryan's skills.
He said: "I'm harsh but fair. But at the end of the day the desired result was achieved.
"You went from dragging the chain to holding the cup."
Ryan exposed fans to Russell's winning tactics.
The Dubliner said: "Well you had this brilliant way of saying to whoever you were playing with 'Now the weakness of the person across the way is his back hand' or what have you.
"And then you'd flip sides and I'd know what you were muttering under your breath about me!"
Russell remarked: "It was mainly 'Put on sunglasses, he's wearing shorts again'."
Ryan replied, laughing: "I heard somebody say at one point 'Can somebody turn Ryan's legs down'."
Russell added: "Keep the day flying right, had a little sport and a little laugh."
The Australian star praised Ryan on making his visit to Ireland so "great".
He said: "You're one of the great reasons that our time in Dublin was so positive.
"Getting together on Sunday and having a bit of sweat and a bit laugh and pouring a Guinness after tennis was so important to me."
Ryan also revealed Russell's competitiveness towards the end of their conversation.
Tubridy, for his part, revealed how the actor had kept spreadsheets, marking scores, as his competitive spirit got the better of him.
He said: "Can I tell you how terrifying it was when you started producing spreadsheets about who was winning."
The Oscar-winning actor laughed and blamed his partner, Britney Theriot, for being the competitive one.
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