Belfast Telegraph

Sir Ridley's tribute to brother

Sir Ridley Scott paid tribute to his late brother Tony at the world premiere of his new film, Exodus: Gods And Kings.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker, 77, dedicated the Biblical story about Moses and Ramses to his younger sibling, who committed suicide in Los Angeles in August 2012.

Sir Ridley, who arrived arm in arm with wife Giannina Facio at London's Leicester Square, said: "Tony and I were unusually close brothers. I got him into filmmaking when he was 15 and I was 22 and I said to him, 'Listen, we're going to make a movie and I have an instruction book'.

"We had a clockwork camera and he was the actor. We made a half-hour movie - Boy And Bicycle - which is (showing) at the BFI now. It cost us £65."

The director was joined by the stars of his film including Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton and Sir Ben Kingsley, along with actresses Maria Valverde and Golshifteh Farahani, who all walked the red carpet adorned with tall pillars featuring Egyptian hieroglyphics as well as torches, outside the Odeon cinema in the West End.

There was also a protester at the premiere, with a banner saying: "Egyptians were black. No more lies."

But Sir Ridley brushed off criticism over his casting choices, about his decision to cast Caucasian actors as the main Egyptian characters, saying: "I always get flak. I cast very carefully."

Bale said playing Moses gave him the opportunity to "delve into the character, a man so complex".

The Dark Knight star, 40, added: "The epic piece has to be grounded by the human story."

Australian actor Edgerton, also 40, shaved off his hair and wore eyeliner to take on the role of Ramses, who banishes Moses after he finds out his true roots.

"It's a pinch-myself moment, to have one of my favourite directors call up and ask me to be a part of this," he said.

"I couldn't believe it. I was like, 'Really? Is this true?'... I was like a kid playing dress-up, literally. It was an honour. I was very excited."

He said about the casting controversy: "Ridley's no idiot. He knows what he wants to do and if people aren't pleased, that's fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion."

Sir Ben, who previously portrayed Moses in a 1995 TV movie, said joining the film was an "honour".

"I loved the stories of the Jewish struggle and their triumph. I'm very committed to that," he said.

The 70-year-old Gandhi star continued: "I had all my scenes with Christian Bale and he is a magnificent Moses. Having inhabited Moses a long time ago for television, it was a great asset for me to bring my personal knowledge to the screen."

The Biblical epic, inspired by the Old Testament Book of Exodus, follows Moses' determination and courage to lead 400,000 slaves to escape from Egypt.

Exodus: Gods And Kings, which also stars Sigourney Weaver, John Turturro and Aaron Paul, opens in cinemas on Boxing Day.

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