Russell Crowe: From Oscar to Meg

Russell Crowe's personal life has brought him almost as much notoriety as his Oscar-winning acting career.

In an interview with ABCNEWS' Diane Sawyer, the star of A Beautiful Mind talks about whether his image as one of Hollywood's bad boys is well-deserved.

"If I was my parent, I would be a little concerned," he says. But, he adds, "I'm actually much more conservative than you give me credit for."

Crowe talks about what it's like to be the emblem of masculinity and shares his reaction to a kidnapping threat. The Australian actor, who does not give many interviews, also reveals details about his relationship with Meg Ryan and what it was like being hounded by the press.

"It's very easy intellectually to stand back and say, 'Well it doesn't matter what such and such says.' But unless you've been in the environment, then you really don't know what the hell you're talking about," Crowe says. "[It] takes away from your ability to see each other simply and clearly, you know?"

When the glitter of Hollywood gets too bright, Crowe retreats to his 560-acre farm in Sydney, where he rides his horse Honey, and raises livestock, including more than 100 cows.

Asked why he's not ready to live on his farm and leave Hollywood behind, he says, "I haven't done a performance yet that I really like, so I think I've got to keep going until I at least get something right."

Get to know the Oscar-winning actor on Primetime Thursday at 10 p.m. ET.