Australian actor Russell Crowe has revealed how he feared he would be killed in a real-life "hit" during a meeting in Sydney with former police officer turned criminal Mark Standen.
Crowe met had with Standen, who was then the NSW Crime Commission assistant director, in an alleyway with the aim of getting help with background for a script, the Daily Telegraph reports.
But as they met in a backstreet of Walsh Bay, Crowe and Standen both thought they were about to be targeted in a "hit" by construction workers.
The extraordinary meeting had been revealed in a true crime book by News Ltd journalist Charles Miranda, titled Deception, to be published next week.
"I met him out on the street and we were walking down this alleyway between these buildings and there were these guys dressed as workmen but there wasn't like a building site anywhere," Crowe is quoted as saying in the book.
"They sort of turned and came toward us and if they wanted they could have very easily stopped us in that alleyway. There was quite a large group of them and one of them looked at me and kind of nodded his head and said 'hey Crowey how are ya mate'?
"And then they stepped aside and allowed the two of us to pass. We walked a few steps and I said to him, 'f ... k that felt like a hit'. And he said, 'it did didn't it'. I just thought, 'what the f ... k was all that about'."
The meeting was held months before Standen's arrest in June 2008 for conspiring to import and supply millions of dollars worth of chemicals to produce the street drug ice.
He was sentenced to 22 years jail late last year.
Crowe said Standen's name had been given to him as someone he could trust and he was later shocked to hear about his arrest.
"I rang the guy that put me onto him and said, 'Geez, you are a f ... ing good judge of character, sunshine'," Crowe said.