Russell Crowe has spoken about visiting Gallipoli for the first time and how it changed his perspective of the historic battle.

He says he was surprised by the greeting he received in Turkey.

"It wasn't because I'm a movie star. I'm just another bloke walking around the grave sites.

"A guy comes up to me and says 'where are you from?' and I said 'New Zealand'. Straight away he wanted to have a chat... It was like there's a personal connection for them and depth that I just never assumed."


He says it was "fundamentally embarrassing" to realise he had never considered the Gallipoli campaign from a Turkish perspective.

"I was embarrassed. I can draw to mind the number of New Zealand and Australian dead but I have no idea how many Turkish men died."

He says it's time schools expand history lessons on Gallipoli to include the Turkish perspective.

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Watch Crowe's interview.
Russell Crowe: Calling the shots

The actor made the journey to Turkey for his new film and directorial debut The Water Diviner, which had its world premiere in Sydney on Tuesday.

Crowe took his two sons, Charles, 10, and Tennyson, 8, to the screening to teach them the harsh reality of war.

"I know it's tough, not every parent is going to make the decision to show their kids this sort of stuff.

"My little one had very romanticised viewpoint of war is and that comes from the movies he watches and the games he plays. He was saying things to me, which I was finding a little confronting.

"He watched the film. And he completely changed his mind about the romanticism of being a soldier."

The Water Diviner opens in cinemas on Boxing Day.

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