Belfast Telegraph

Crowe expected Noah controversy

Russell Crowe has admitted he wasn't surprised by the controversy surrounding his new film Noah.

The Les Miserables actor has the title role in Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic, which has been banned in some Muslim countries because of its depiction of the prophet and has also angered some Christian institutions over its re-telling of the Bible story.

But according to the Telegraph, Russell said the reaction was expected and that the countries that have barred the film would miss out on an opportunity for discussion.

"It's the primary issue of this film, whether you have faith or you don't have faith, you talk about it," he said.

"To be frank, given that it is a tenet of the Muslim religion that you can't make stories or render images about the Prophet, it was not unexpected that some Islamic nations would ban the film."

Speaking in Rio de Janeiro, Russell confessed he had "a very limited understanding" of Noah before he started making the film and suggested the same might be true of many people.

"A lot of people think they know the story but what they recall is children's stories from Sunday school and not what the Bible says," he said.

"This story is contained in every religious text. Noah is in the Qu'ran. People from all over the world outside of religion have flood mythology. In my eyes, Noah is just a normal man and, as he begins to realise the full weight of the task he's been given, it weighs down on him."

The film's all-star cast also includes Sir Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, Douglas Booth, Logan Lerman and Ray Winstone.

It is due to be released in cinemas on April 4.

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