A grandmother has revealed how she was chosen to be Russell Crowe’s body double in a film about notorious bushranger Ned Kelly because of her ‘ugly’ feet.
Philomena Trevor-Hunt appeared on this week’s episode of ABC game show Hard Quiz where she was tested on her knowledge of the popular musical My Fair Lady.
But the 80-year-old from Wangaratta in north-east Victoria had a more interesting personal story about her own acting experiences on the big screen.
Irish-born Mrs Trevor-Hunt – Phil to her friends – first appeared as a film extra with her then friend Cliff Richard when she was living in London in the late 1950s.
‘You were in the recent film the True History of the Kelly Gang – what role did you play?’ Hard Quiz host Tom Gleeson asked.
‘Russell Crowe’s feet,’ she said.
A grandmother has revealed on Hard Quiz she was chosen as Russell Crowe’s foot double in a film about notorious bushranger Ned Kelly because of her deformed toes. Crowe is pictured playing outlaw Harry Power in True History of the Kelly Gang
Hard Quiz contestant Philomena Trevor-Hunt revealed she was paid $500 to act as Russell Crowe’s foot double (above) in True History of the Kelly Gang because she had bunions. She was paid $500 for the role
‘You were in the recent film the True History of the Kelly Gang – what role did you play?’ Hard Quiz host Tom Gleeson asked retiree Philomena Trevor-Hunt. She replied: ‘Russell Crowe’s feet’
The 2019 film was based on the Booker Prize-winning Peter Carey novel of the same name and starred Crowe as young Ned’s murderous mentor Harry Power.
The movie was controversial for its depiction of Kelly and his gang cross-dressing in women’s lacy gowns.
Power features as one of Kelly’s mother Ellen’s lovers and takes on Ned as his apprentice, teaching him about bushranging. Essie Davis, best known for her lead role in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, plays Ellen Kelly.
When an image of Power’s wrinkled old feet in the film was shown on screen the Hard Quiz audience erupted in applause and laughter.
‘Hey, don’t knock it,’ feisty Phil fired back. ‘I got 500 bucks for it.’
Gold Logie-winning Gleeson then asked, ‘So why were you playing Russell Crowe’s feet?’
Mrs Trevor-Hunt: ‘Because I’ve got bunions.’
The real thing: Russell Crowe captioned a 2019 Twitter picture (left) of one of his feet in 2019: ‘Those days when you take off your sock… but you’ve still got socks’. He put up another picture (right) in 2016 in response to a Twitter post from actor Scott Grimes that he was out jogging
Bunions are bony bumps that form on the joint at the base of the big toe, pushing the deformed digit up against the next toe.
The sometimes painful condition can be caused by arthritis, foot stress or wearing tight, narrow shoes.
Gleeson asked Mrs Trevor-Hunt: ‘Did you go and watch the film at the cinema and then whisper to the person next to you, “They’re my bunions”?
‘I haven’t seen the film yet,’ she answered. ‘It’s only been streamed on Stan and I don’t believe in paying for television things.’
Mrs Trevor-Hunt told Daily Mail Australia the film’s producers had contacted the president of her local acting group, Wangaratta Players, looking for an extra with bunions.
They wanted someone to appear in a brief scene showing Power in bed with Ellen Kelly and the president eventually contacted Mrs Trevor-Hunt.
‘She said, “I remembered you have ugly feet” and I said, “Yeah”. She said, “Do you want to do it?” and I said, “Why not?”‘
The make-up process was more arduous than any acting. ‘They made my feet look worse than they were,’ Mrs Trevor-Hunt said.
Mrs Trevor-Hunt has appeared on about 14 quiz shows including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. She won an episode of The Chase and a night of Sale of the Century. She is pictured with The Chase host Andrew O’Keefe
Mrs Trevor-Hunt said getting into bed with Essie Davis was ‘living every hot-blooded Australian male’s dream.’ Davis is pictured in True History of the Kelly Gang with Orlando Schwerdt who played young Ned
The movie was shot around Winton, 30km south-west of Wangaratta, in 2018 and Mrs Trevor-Hunt was only required for half an hour of filming.
‘I was living every hot-blooded Australian male’s dream – I was in bed with Essie Davis,’ she said.
Mrs Trevor-Hunt said Davis was a ‘lovely lady’ but she didn’t meet Crowe on the set.
‘I don’t particularly like him so it didn’t really bother me.’
Mrs Trevor-Hunt has appeared on about 14 quiz shows including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. She won an episode of The Chase and a night of Sale of the Century.
While she was the first contestant to be knocked out of Hard Quiz on Wednesday, later this month she is filming Millionaire Hot Seat.
‘I’ve got more front than Myers,’ she said. ‘I’m game for anything.’
Hard Quiz airs on the ABC at 8pm on Wednesdays.
The 2019 film True History of the Kelly Gang was based on the 2000 Peter Carey novel of the same name and starred Crowe as young Ned’s bushranging mentor Harry Power (above)