An Aussie TV host has claimed that Russell Crowe wanted to "punch him in the head" after a trainwreck interview.

Back in the late '90s, Dylan Lewis used to host music programme Recovery on the ABC. Now a co-host of Nova 919's Dylan & Hayley show in Adelaide, Lewis said on radio that he only recently discovered what really went on behind the scenes when he interviewed Crowe live on Recovery.

"I think he was on promoting his cool band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts," Lewis recalled. "Stupid name.

"We were talking about rock and roll in the interview. We mentioned a bit of his acting as well, he's a brilliant actor."

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But the interview quickly went off the rails.

"Throughout the interview I was noticing he was getting more and more angry and grumpy at me," Lewis said on Nova.

"He started getting grumpy when I said to him, 'Hey Rusty, why don't you do a grunt for us?' He's like, 'What?' I said, 'A grunt. You should do a grunt because your band is called 30 Odd Foot of Grunts'. He's like, 'What are you talking about?'"

Former ABC host Dylan Lewis says Russell Crowe wanted to punch him following an interview on the music programme Recovery in the late '90s. Photo / Creative Commons image by Wikimedia user Eva Rinaldi
Former ABC host Dylan Lewis says Russell Crowe wanted to punch him following an interview on the music programme Recovery in the late '90s. Photo / Creative Commons image by Wikimedia user Eva Rinaldi

Lewis said he was just trying to have a bit of fun with Crowe, but the actor wasn't in the mood.

"He didn't want to do it," the former Recovery host said. "I was like, 'Oh, that's a bit of a bad sport, you're not grunting with me on live TV'.

"He got more and more grumpy from that moment. He thought I wasn't taking him seriously. I was. I really was trying to take him seriously despite the name of his band."

After the interview, Crowe left the set and the actor's manager approached Lewis with an offer.

"Rusty wants to know if you feel like having a beer with him after the show today," the manager asked, according to Lewis.

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"I said, 'Oh, no, I'm cool thanks. I've got stuff on'. I did have stuff on. My band was doing a sound check for a gig so I couldn't go and meet Russell for a beer."

Lewis continued with the live TV show and never thought much more about his awkward interview with Crowe. But he was recently chatting to someone who worked on Recovery and discovered just how furious the Gladiator star was after the TV appearance.

"Apparently straight after the interview, Russell had gone backstage and started yelling, calling for the producers to come down, calling for his management and saying, 'That was the worst interview I have ever been made to do! Get that guy out here now!'" Lewis said.

"They're like, 'Why?' And he's like, 'Because I'm gonna fight him'. He wanted to fight with me. He wanted to have a punching fight with me because he was not happy with the interview.

"Russell Crowe, Romper Stomper, wanted to punch me in the head!"

Australian actor and singer Russell Crowe performs with his band Thirty Odd Foot Of Grunts at a Sydney bar in 1995. Photo / Getty Images
Australian actor and singer Russell Crowe performs with his band Thirty Odd Foot Of Grunts at a Sydney bar in 1995. Photo / Getty Images

Lewis' Nova co-host, Hayley Pearson, asked: "So when they say he wanted to go for a beer, he wanted to lure you to the hotel and then take you out the back and punch you?"

Lewis responded, "Well, I think it was half luring and half the management trying to make amends because Russell was way too angry."

Pearson jokingly suggested that Lewis should challenge Crowe to a fight to settle the bad blood, but the former Recovery host didn't want a bar of it.

"I don't condone violence of any kind," he said.