A student has said he is “amazed” after Russell Crowe donated thousands to his drama school fund.
The actor donated £2,741 to cover the deposit of Harry Pritchard’s course fees, which are not eligible for Government funding.
“I was looking for grants and loans, it was a really exciting opportunity for me, but there wasn’t much out there,” Mr Pritchard, from Harrogate, told the PA news agency.
The 23-year-old created a GoFundMe page to pay his £13,799 fees for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), and said he “couldn’t believe it” when it caught the attention of Leeds United football fan Crowe.
“I love LAMDA but that fee was initially a worry, I auditioned regardless of whether I’d get there in the end,” he said.
There’s a lot of plans and dreams being shattered these days … Will Harry succeed?
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) August 24, 2020
“In the first four days I was getting lovely, kind donations from family and friends, and I couldn’t quite believe that,” Mr Pritchard told PA.
“I started to put it out on Twitter, hoping somebody would see it and retweet it… it got a bit of buzz, then all of a sudden I see a tweet tagging Russell Crowe… I couldn’t believe it.”
The actor tagged businessman and friend Terry George, who then made his own donation of £1,000 to the fund.
“From there it started snowballing,” Mr Pritchard told PA. “It’s made me feel so humbled and thankful and happy, I cannot stop smiling.
“I’ve sent a thank you message to Russell in a state of shock and disbelief, and I’ve spoken with Terry, who reached out to give me his best wishes.”
Mr Pritchard has now raised over £10,000 to study at the London drama school.
The aspiring actor said that if the GoFundMe surpasses his fundraising goal, he would like to “pay it forward” and help another student with their fees.
“I’m the lucky one who got seen and that’s amazing, but I still have to make sure I do my bit to help out,” he said.
“I’d have to pay it forward… without everyone’s support it wouldn’t be where it is, I can’t quite believe that anyone would want to help me. I’m amazed.”
Mr George said he will be meeting with Mr Pritchard, and “would not be surprised” if Crowe arranges to meet the student too.
He told PA: “I trust everything that Russell does and says, he’s discovered a star and I thought it was worth supporting.
“I spoke to him [Harry] this morning, he was extremely grateful, we’re going to meet at some point.
“He’s getting to where he wants to be, but the most important donations are the small ones – if as many people as possible do small donations, you get to where you want very quickly.”
To see donations to Mr Pritchard’s LAMDA fund, visit www.gofundme.com/f/get-harry-to-lamda