It’s not every day a world-famous movie star stops in Batavia to eat tuna.
But Tuesday was one of them.
Actor Russell Crowe was in Batavia shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, according to staff members who saw him and a barista who served him.
Crowe, 47, ate a tuna salad sandwich on lettuce and sat with two other men on the patio outside the Batavia Public Library, 10 S. Batavia Ave., Batavia. He ordered his food and drink inside the , a shop at the front of the library building.
Although neither Batavia Patch nor the library staff could independently confirm the man was actually Russell Crowe, the details provided by witnesses gave weight to their story. Crowe is cast as Superman’s father Jor-El in the movie Man of Steel, which is .
“Russell Crowe was spotted at the Batavia Public Library—he was here,” said Michelle Martzel, coordinator of the library’s promotional services. “He introduced himself to (Library Director George Scheetz) as ‘Russell.’”
Scheetz and Martzel went to greet Crowe after word spread among the staff that someone who looked like the actor was outside. Scheetz was also photographed on Tuesday with a man that looks strikingly like Crowe, and Martzel said he had an Australian accent, just like Crowe’s.
“It was fun,” Scheetz said of the encounter. “I was a little starstruck. It was good to see someone on the big screen sitting outside the library.”
Scheetz introduced himself and had a short conversation with Crowe. The encounter was especially meaningful for Scheetz, who grew up on Superman comic books. A photo of himself and Crowe was posted on Facebook, introduced with the phrase "Jor-El in Batavia."
Martzel said Crowe was very pleasant toward them.
What Brought Crowe to Batavia?
Martzel said she wasn't sure what exactly brought Crowe to the library. She avoided asking questions so she wouldn’t interrupt his meal.
Martzel said the two men at Crowe’s table did not say anything when she and Scheetz went to greet the actor.
There are no Man of Steel scenes currently being filmed in Batavia, Mayor Jeff Schielke told Batavia Patch Tuesday afternoon.
Schielke said he heard that one of the movie’s crews might be filming at the Technology Center of DuPage campus in West Chicago, near the city’s east side border. Technology Drive might have been closed recently for filming, Schielke said.
“They are being pretty coy about talking about this stuff,” he said. “I’m not aware of anything in Batavia that’s being used.”
Schielke did not know about the Crowe sighting before Batavia Patch told him, but he was glad to hear about it.
“He’s certainly welcome here,” he said of Crowe. “He’s a well-known star.”
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