Russell Crowe Recalls Michael Jackson’s Bizarre ‘Habit’ Of Prank Calling Him

During Friday’s episode of The Graham Norton Show, actor Russell Crowe revealed a bizarre story about the years he was relentlessly pranked by the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Crowe and his The Nice Guys co-star Ryan Gosling are promoting the film, in which they star as a mismatched pair of private eyes who investigate the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles, per IMDB. They were also on the show with Money Monster director Jodi Foster, who was amused by Crowe’s story.

“He just got into the habit of wherever I was staying, he’d just call the hotel, ask for my room and put on funny voices,” Russell recalled. Gosling shrugged and raised his eyebrows in disbelief.

“I’d never met him. The first couple people I said it to — I didn’t want to sound like I was insane, ‘y’know, Michael prank called me today’. But when I actually started talking to people who really knew him well, they’d go, ‘Man, he does it all the time’,” he added.

Russell explained who Michael would pretend to be when he pranked him.

“He would always start off kind of gruff, like he was the hotel management and there was some kind of problem. If I got kind of irritated, he’d just (laughs and says), ‘Don’t worry Russell, it’s only Michael.'”

“Did you ever meet him?” host Graham wondered.

“Never,” Russell said.

Check out the segment via the clip below.

This is not the first time that the Oscar-winning actor has spilled the tea about Jackson’s jokes. Last year he told The Guardian about his prank call relationship with Michael, which he said went on “for two or three f—king years.”

“I never met him, never shook his hand, but he found out the name I stayed in hotels under, so it didn’t matter where I was, he’d ring up do this kind of thing, like you did when you were 10, you know. ‘Is Mr. Wall there? Is Mrs. Wall there? Are there any Walls there? Then what’s holding the roof up? Ha ha.’ You’re supposed to grow out of doing that, right?”

Crowe also mentioned MJ’s prank calls to the Sun in 2013.

“He’d ring me and in a strong voice and say, ‘There is an emergency and you need to leave the building.’ I’d ask, ‘Who is this?’ And he’d say, ‘Do not worry Russell, just kidding, this is Michael.'”

The 52-year-old father-of-two joked about fatherhood during an interview in the Sunday edition of The Daily Telegraph. He also spoke about how he’s able to keep his two “privileged” sons grounded.

“It’s very important that they understand that I have certain privileges in life and I define for them what those privileges are,” said Crowe. “They’re both very grounded. They’ve experienced a lot of amazing things because of my job, but they don’t take anything for granted and they’re humble about their place in the world.”

The Gladiator star separated from his wife of nine years, Danielle Spencer, in 2012, and in an interview with Sunday Style, Crowe revealed that he’s ready for a new relationship.

“There is a craving for some sort of intimacy in the future, and I’m not talking sexually. It is starting to grow inside me again. I really need that. I thought I could just tough it out and not worry too much. But you just want the feeling that you have someone you can make a plan with.”

He also explained that his responsibilities as a parent keep the idea of a second marriage off the table.

“I have what I feel is an obligation to my kids, to not confuse their lives too much. It’s already pretty tricky for them. There’s life itself, then there’s life as a famous person’s kids.”

Russell and Ryan met the press in Cannes ahead of The Nice Guys red-carpet premiere on Sunday night, and when asked if he prepares for his roles by using the Stanislavski Method, Crowe replied with the following.

“I use the Russell Crowe method. I’ve never been to drama school, man. I’ve never been to acting school. The only time I did any formal lessons, I chose to study classical texts for about three weeks. But I’ve been acting since I was 6-years-old. Over time, you get more and more efficient about getting to the center of the character you’re preparing. I don’t even know what the Stanislavski method may be. Seriously, if you want to be an actor, work it out yourself.”

Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling hit theaters stateside on Friday when The Nice Guys premieres.

[Photo by Lionel Cironneau/AP Images]