'Russell Crowe to play Leeds-born chef Marco Pierre White in film biopic'

Russell Crowe is to write, direct and star in a biopic of Leeds-born chef Marco Pierre White, according to national media reports.

The actor, who is a Leeds United fan, will play the Michelin-starred chef in a film about his ascent in the culinary world.

Russell Crowe: Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire.

Russell Crowe: Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire.

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The chef is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: "I have just signed the deal.

"Russell has written the script, Russell’s company is producing it, Russell is directing it and Russell is playing the third or fourth Marco."

"When they do a movie on your life, you don’t just have one Marco — I am nearly 60 years old."

Pierre White, the youngest and the first British chef to be awarded three Michelin stars, aged 33, added: "If there was anyone in Hollywood to play me, it would have to be Russell."

Marco Pierre White in Leeds. Picture: Simon Hulme.

Marco Pierre White in Leeds. Picture: Simon Hulme.

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Rumours circulated about the film five years ago, with Sir Ridley Scott mooted as director and Michael Fassbender or Tom Hardy as the lead actor.

The chef told the national newspaper: "I didn’t know Russell then.

"I had never met him because [the idea for the film] all started with Ridley Scott, not with Russell."

"But I thought to myself: 'Actually, I think Russell Crowe should be playing me, not Michael Fassbender.'"

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The controversial figure grew up on a Leeds council estate and left at the age of 16 to pursue his career, leaving Allerton High School without qualifications.

At the age of just 24, he became head chef of Harveys, in Wandsworth, London, leading kitchen staff that included Gordon Ramsay.

He published his autobiography, The Devil In The Kitchen, in 2006.