Russell Crowe looks worlds away from his Gladiator days 20 years on

My, how you’ve changed! Russell Crowe is unrecognisable as he sports a beard and ponytail during a tennis session in Sydney… 20 years after his iconic performance in Gladiator

Russell Crowe shot to fame playing Maximus in the 2000 epic Gladiator.

But two decades later, the 56-year-old actor has embraced a far more relaxed look, and is now hardly recognisable compared to his glory days.

The Hollywood legend sported a scruffy beard and wore his greying hair in a slicked-back ponytail while playing a game of tennis in Sydney with his close friend Britney Theriot, 30, on Thursday evening.

Heart-throb: Russell shot to fame playing Maximus in the 2000 epic Gladiator

My, how you’ve changed! Russell Crowe (left on Thursday evening, right in 2000’s Gladiator) looks very different these days compared to when he first rose to fame in Hollywood

Gone was the chiselled six pack he was once known for, as Russell sported a loose-fitting polo shirt, black-and-white Adidas pants and a pair of matching sneakers.

He was at the training session with his pal Britney, an actress-turned-real estate agent who starred alongside him in the 2013 crime drama Broken City. 

It appears the Oscar winner is trying to get back into shape, after recently gaining weight to play a psychotic stalker in the thriller Unhinged.

In the film, Russell plays a man who makes a woman’s life hell after a road rage incident, ruthlessly going after her and everyone she knows.

Changes: Gone was the chiselled six pack he was once known for, as Russell sported a loose-fitting polo shirt, black-and-white Adidas pants and a pair of matching sneakers

Changes: Gone was the chiselled six pack he was once known for, as Russell sported a loose-fitting polo shirt, black-and-white Adidas pants and a pair of matching sneakers

Working out: It appears the Oscar winner is trying to get back into shape, after recently gaining weight to play a psychotic stalker in the thriller Unhinged

Working out: It appears the Oscar winner is trying to get back into shape, after recently gaining weight to play a psychotic stalker in the thriller Unhinged

Pals: He enjoyed a tennis session with his friend Britney Theriot, 30, an actress-turned-real estate agent who starred alongside him in the 2013 crime drama Broken City

Pals: He enjoyed a tennis session with his friend Britney Theriot, 30, an actress-turned-real estate agent who starred alongside him in the 2013 crime drama Broken City

Pals: He enjoyed a tennis session with his friend Britney Theriot, 30, an actress-turned-real estate agent who starred alongside him in the 2013 crime drama Broken City

Haunting portrayal: In his latest film, Unhinged, Russell plays a man who makes a woman's life hell after a road rage incident, ruthlessly going after her and everyone she knows

Haunting portrayal: In his latest film, Unhinged, Russell plays a man who makes a woman’s life hell after a road rage incident, ruthlessly going after her and everyone she knows

The Beautiful Mind actor is no stranger to changing his figure depending on the role he is playing.

He recently portrayed the former chairman and CEO of Fox News, Roger Ailes, in the Showtime series The Loudest Voice.

This role required him to gain a significant amount of weight and wear a ‘fat suit’. 

Russell recently revealed that he turned down a role in the first Lord of the Rings movie, which would have made him a whopping $100million.

Mistake: Russell recently revealed that he turned down a role in the first Lord of the Rings movie, which would have made him a whopping $100 million

Mistake: Russell recently revealed that he turned down a role in the first Lord of the Rings movie, which would have made him a whopping $100 million

Method actor: Russell is no stranger to changing his figure depending on the role he is playing

Method actor: Russell is no stranger to changing his figure depending on the role he is playing 

Russell told Howard Stern that he almost played the lead warrior Aragorn, and was offered ten per cent of the film’s profits in lieu of an upfront fee.

‘I didn’t think Peter Jackson actually wanted me on that film,’ Russell said.

‘I think he was forced into talking to me [by the studio] because there was a moment in time where everybody wanted me in everything.’

Bombshell: Earlier this month, the South Sydney Rabbitohs co-owner hit the headlines after being named in a bombshell report about retired NRL star Sam Burgess

Bombshell: Earlier this month, the South Sydney Rabbitohs co-owner hit the headlines after being named in a bombshell report about retired NRL star Sam Burgess

Earlier this month, the South Sydney Rabbitohs co-owner hit the headlines after being named in a bombshell report about retired NRL star Sam Burgess.

Sam, a former Rabbitohs captain-turned-assistant coach, is facing serious allegations about his wild partying and conduct towards his ex-wife, Phoebe.

Rabbitohs staff members have also been accused of covering up Sam’s alleged indiscretions. It is not alleged that Russell was involved in any cover-up.

Allegations: Rabbitohs staff members have been accused of covering up Sam's alleged indiscretions. It is not alleged that Russell was involved in any cover-up

Allegations: Rabbitohs staff members have been accused of covering up Sam’s alleged indiscretions. It is not alleged that Russell was involved in any cover-up

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