The movie hero said: “I have seen magnificent buildings, mountains, oceans, waterfalls and everything but the Peak District is right up there and you will have to go a very long way to find a building and grounds anywhere near as nice as Chatsworth House. It is magnificent.
‘I have a liking for art and other beautiful things and that's probably why I like Derbyshire so much - it is a place of beauty.
‘I would go as far as to say it is breath-taking. We shot some of Robin Hood by the River Dove and it was amazing to see the famous stepping stones. It is all so picturesque. I wanted to take in as much as I could so we travelled around a bit to see more of the area, fantastic.”
During the film shoot for Robin Hood in 2009 Russell was not only taken with the Derbyshire countryside but also its people.
He said: “Everyone is very friendly and respectful and they don't just stare at you as if you are something that has just landed. My experiences of the times I have spent in Derbyshire and the Peak District was that everyone treated you as a normal human being.”Russell recalled going to The Green Man pub in Ashbourne after a day’s filming. He said: “When we walked in we were greeted as if we were all locals and that was great, no awkward silence, we just mucked in and we were even taken behind the scenes to see the pub's micro-brewery, which was a fantastic experience and one I have never forgotten, even though it was a few years ago now.”
Russell won an Oscar for his role in Gladiator and won a BAFTA and Golden Globe awards for his portrayal of John Forbes Nash Jr in A Beautiful Mind. His film credits include Master and Commander and Les Miserables.
Eleven years ago he was given the honour of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The full interview with Russell can be found on the Great British Life website.