Where Gladiator cast are now – split from supermodel ex to surprising turn on Footballers’ Wives and shock on-set death | The Sun
6th January 2023

GLADIATOR became an instant classic when it was released way back in 2000.

The epic historical film grossed a mind-blowing £380million and is regularly touted as one of the greatest movies of all time.

And now, 23 years after the original, director Ridley Scott is returning with a sequel, with filming understood to be scheduled for May.

One of the film's biggest selling points was its incredible cast, led by Russell Crowe, now 58, who took home the 2001 Oscars' best actor gong for his role as Maximus Decimus Meridius.

It is hoped the iconic hero will make an appearance in flashback scenes — as long as Russell signs up for a role.

Here we take a look at what the actor and his co-stars have been up to in the years since Gladiator.

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Russell Crowe

The New Zealand born star has enjoyed a hugely successful career since Gladiator – arguably the role that made his career.

It could have been very different, as Mel Gibson was offered the part first, but turned it down.

Russell has since won a string of awards including a Bafta, Golden Globes, and a Screen Actor's Guild gong.

His most successful movies include A Beautiful Mind, American Gangster and Les Miserables, where he surprised many with his singing abilities.

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Russell's personal life has not been without drama – in 2005 he was arrested and charged with second-degree assault by the NYPD for throwing a phone at a hotel concierge.

The actor was fined £120 for the incident but is rumoured to have paid the concierge around £750,000 to avoid a lawsuit.

The now infamous incident happened during his stormy marriage to Australian singer Danielle Spencer in 2003.

He's been linked to numerous women, during and after their relationship, including Courtney Love and Dita Von Teese. Russell also had a passionate affair with Meg Ryan in 2000 that spelled the end of her nine-year marriage to Dennis Quaid.

Russell and Danielle – who share two teenage sons – reportedly split in 2012 and he held an event dubbed 'The Art of Divorce auction' in 2018 to sell items that were meaningful to the former couple.

Last year, Russell appeared to confirm his long-rumoured romance with actress-turned-real estate agent Britney Theriot – 26 years his junior – when she appeared in his selfie in Rome.

Russell amused nostalgic fans when he revealed he'd taken his family to his "old office" – the Colosseum in Rome, the location of many of the flick's iconic scenes – and shared a snap.

Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus

Joaquin's portrayal of the evil Commodus brought him widespread recognition and earned him a best actor nomination at the Oscars.

He was apparently very nervous on set, and Russell Crowe used to help calm him down by feeding him "cans of Guinness".

In early April 2005, Phoenix checked himself into rehab to be treated for alcoholism, but later admitted he didn't need an intervention.

Joaquin has since starred in Signs, The Village, and Hotel Rwanda. He received a Golden Globe for his turn as Johnny Cash in 2005's Walk the Line and an Oscar for his role as The Joker in 2019.

He's renowned for deeply immersing himself in his characters while preparing for the role – his erratic behaviour while preparing for mockumentary I'm Still Here sparked concern he was having a breakdown.

The American star, 48, dated Liv Tyler for three years in the late 90s before settling down with actress Rooney Mara, whom he met in 2012 and shares a son with.

A staunch animal rights activist, he's been a vegan since the age of three.

Djimon Hounsou as Juba

Before his role as Juba in the movie, Benin born Djimon, 58, had appeared in music videos alongside superstars such as Janet Jackson and Madonna.

After Gladiator, he was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Blood Diamonds, in which he starred opposite Leonardo DiCaprio.

He has also delved into the world of superheroes, appearing in a number of Marvel films including Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel.

In 2007 he began dating American supermodel Kimora Lee Simmons, often appearing in her reality show Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane.

She gave birth to their son Kenzo in 2009, but never legally married in the US.

They announced their separation in 2012, but appear to remain on good terms, with Kimora joining Djimon and his new girlfriend at the Aquaman premiere in 2018.

Connie Nielsen – Lucilla

Connie won the role of Lucilla despite Jennifer Lopez auditioning for it.

The 57-year-old Danish star has gone on to build an impressive career with roles in Wonder Woman, Justice League, and the controversial erotic drama Nymphomaniac.

Last year she was cast as Jo Harding in the Channel 4 psychological drama Close to Me.

She famously dated Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich from 2004 to 2012 and they share a son together.

Connie is also the mother of actor Sebastian Sartor, from a previous relationship with Fabio Sartor.

Oliver Reed – Proximo

The iconic English actor tragically died of a heart attack in 1999 while shooting Gladiator in Malta.

He'd begun his successful career in the 1950s, and many saw Oliver's signing up to play Antonius Proximo as his big return to prominence.

The respected actor was widely known for his larger than life personality and his love for alcohol.

On the night he died, he allegedly splashed out £270 on booze, downed over eight bottles of lager, twelve double rums and half a bottle of whisky, won an arm-wrestling content against members of the British Royal Navy crew, HMS Cumberland.

After his death aged 61, his remaining scenes were filmed using a body double and CGI. He left behind wife Josephine who was 26 years his junior.

Derek Jacobi – Senator Gracchus

There aren't many Hollywood success stories that can trump Sir Derek Jacobi's 61 year career.

The 84-year-old established himself as a household name long before starring in Gladiator, with Shakespearean stage productions and films.

Since Gladiator, he's landed big roles in The King's Speech, Murder on the Orient Express, and in Netflix's The Crown.

Four months after civil partnerships were made available in the UK, he registered his partnership with Richard Clifford, a prolific theatre director.

They have been together for over 43 years.

Spencer Treat Clark – Lucius Verus

Now 35, the former child actor has managed to remain busy after the film.

He starred in Unbreakable, released the same year as Gladiator, and 2003's Mystic River.

Roles have been fewer as he got older, as Spencer studied for a bachelor's degree in political science and economy at Columbia University.

More recently he starred in Glass, Salem's Lot, and the TV shows Animal Kingdom and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

David Schofield – Senator Falco

David, 71, like most of his fellow Brit co-stars has also enjoyed success across theatre, film and TV.

He landed roles in Pirates of the Caribbean as Mr Ian Mercer and starred as Javert in a BBC radio adaptation of Les Miserables.

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David's also had roles in TV dramas such as Holby City, Band of Gold, and Footballers' Wives.

He is married to actress Lally Percy and has two children.

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