He's the Academy Award-winning actor who stunned international audiences with his burly physique in the 2000 film Gladiator.

But on Friday night, it wasn't Russell Crowe's figure that set tongues wagging as he emceed the 30th American Cinematheque Awards - it was his language.

The 52-year-old New Zealand actor opened the prestigious event by bluntly declaring: "All right, American Cinematheque, let's grab the night by the pu**y!"

The bizarre remark appeared to mock US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, who recently came under fire when audio surfaced of him saying when you're high-profile like him, that it's okay to grab women "by the pu**y".

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Russell then went on to joke about voting in the US election, in which Republican nominee Donald is competing against Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton.

"It's a huge year, so don't forget to vote... for the Academy Awards when that comes around," he joked.

The night of nights saw a mix of high-profile celebrities attending, including Sigourney Weaver, Andy Garcia, Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig.

Some of Hollywood's biggest stars honor British director Ridley Scott as he is handed the American Cinematheque Award to mark an illustrious career spanning five decades.

During the event, Ridley Scott was honoured, with Weaver and Wiig, along with several other celebrities, taking the stage to acknowledge the acclaimed producer and director.

The black tie affair was held in the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel.
This isn't the first time Russell has tried his hand at comedy using crude humour.

In April this year, the Oscar winner made his first appearance as host on comedy show Saturday Night Live.

One of his first gags he made during a very brief monologue was when he stated he was known for his comedic roles... the star then flicking to a clip of him impaling a fighter to death in Gladiator.

"Cracks me up every time I see that," he chuckled. "I used two swords! I could've used one. And I was wearing a dress."

The Kiwi featured in four sketches on the night, with three of them featuring vagina gags, and none of them drawing much laughter.