Ryan-Crowe Love Scene MIA

Taylor Hackford has a hostage drama called Proof of Life coming to theaters this Friday. Perhaps you've heard of it? If, like the rest of the public, you have heard of it, it's no doubt in the context of the heated real-life romance between co-stars Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan.

And that's the trouble, as far as Hackford is concerned. At this weekend's Life press junket in Los Angeles, Ryan and Crowe chose not to give interviews to print and online outlets, rather than be pestered with questions about their hot-and-heavy off-screen pairing. They consented to TV and radio interviews, over which they and their publicists can exercise more control, as Hackford explained.

Hackford, who, along with co-stars David Morse and David Caruso, did meet with Mr. Showbiz and other online outlets, is now blasting his two stars for not promoting the film.

The director of An Officer and a Gentleman and Against All Odds tells the Calgary Sun, "I am deeply hurt that they couldn't [do interviews] … and that Proof of Life will probably best be known as the film that sparked a love affair between Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan."

Um, probably? Theirs is only the highest-profile on-set romance since Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor shacked up on the set of Cleopatra.

When Mr. Showbiz asked Hackford about what happened to a love scene hinted at in the film's trailer (but nowhere to be found in the final film), he said he made many cuts to the film, including, as Morse tells us, many of Morse's scenes.

In addition, Hackford now confirms to the Sun that he did cut a love scene from the film. "This was completely my decision. There was no pressure from Meg or Russell and certainly not from the studio [Warner Brothers]. I screened the film with and without the love scene and had to go with the version that worked best for audiences," he tells the paper.

"If I wanted to be sensational, I could have inserted the scene, but it would have detracted greatly. I wanted the relationship between the characters to be tenuous and ambiguous." As it stands now, the sum total of the on-screen romance is one kiss — and a lot of long, lingering looks.

Crowe and his ladylove are now ducking paparazzi left and right — Crowe told Access Hollywood that he feels "like a hunted animal" since it all began.

While the Gladiator hunk has skirted the topic of Meggie-poo, he did let slip to Jay Leno that he "might move to Hollywood for love." That's quite a turnaround for the star who once stated that he'd move to La-La Land only if "Australia and New Zealand were swallowed up by a huge tidal wave, if there was a bubonic plague in England, and if the continent of Africa disappeared from some Martian attack."

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