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Mail from our readers

Check out letters from those who agreed with us, and those who didn't, on Russell Crowe's cover photo, Nick Drake's posthumous success, and more

Mail from our readers

Careful scientific research (i.e., reading our mail) reveals two pop-cult phenoms now unleashing unbridled passion among EW readers: First, the ladies gave it up for America’s No. 1 Gladiator, Russell Crowe. ”If Russell gets lonely on his motorcycle unwinds, count me first in line to volunteer companionship!” writes Kelly Kress of Mattoon, Ill. Second, rabid fans of Roswell took exception to Jessica Shaw’s declaration that they’re out. ”Why is it uncool to like a show that has incredible acting, writing, and is highly enjoyable?” whines Erin McFeely of Los Angeles. Point taken. We’re so five minutes ago.

Mad for Maximus
My dreams came true when I saw your cover (yowza!) and the accompanying article and review (”Chairman of the Sword”). What a movie! Despite having done it before, Russell Crowe blew my mind again. He doesn’t give a hoot what Hollywood thinks, but he should know those of us in the bleachers give him a thumbs-up. Rock and roll, mate!
Beth King

Move over, Harrison Ford — Hollywood’s new Sexiest Man Alive is none other than Russell Crowe. Hubba hubba hubba! Not only is Crowe easy on the eyes, he is incredibly talented, and oh boy, did he kick some major butt as Maximus! Thanks to Crowe, Ridley Scott’s visually stunning epic has just moved into my top 10 list.
Mimi Trambakoulos

Chris Nashawaty’s article on Gladiator incorrectly blames my original [script] drafts for woes encountered during the making of the film. And the notion that my script lacked a second act is preposterous. When Russell Crowe came on board, I was in the midst of rewriting Act 2 to encompass the provincial arena as well as Max’s life as a slave (for which DreamWorks had already begun location scouting). Though I did indeed complete that draft, by the time Russell [began filming], I was no longer involved with the writing. Clearly the usual torturous rewriting process led the filmmakers back to my script rather than away from it. I am proud that my original vision is so masterfully executed and so successful.
David Franzoni
Producer/Screenwriter, Gladiator
Malibu, Calif.

Editor’s Note: Our article reflects the interviews done with Gladiator’s Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe, and DreamWorks’ Walter Parkes. Unfortunately, Mr. Franzoni declined requests to be interviewed.

For Drake’s Sake
Many thanks for the thoughtful article on Nick Drake. His songs are full of life and even a self-depracating wit. It is small wonder that nearly 26 years after his death he remains a vibrant, contemporary artist. If a Volkswagen ad brings his music into millions of homes, then we are all the richer for the experience.
Martin J. Brewer
Rochester, N.H.