Noah star Russell Crowe may have failed in his bid to meet the Pope, but the actor did get the chance to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday to discuss his bible to big screen epic.
Crowe met with the leader of the Anglican Communion to discuss his role in Darren Aronofsky’s much talked about movie, which sees the actor take on the title role alongside all star support from Emma Watson, Douglas Booth and Jennifer Connelly.
Crowe visited the Most Rev Justin Welby at Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop’s official residence, on Tuesday, the day after attending the film’s European premiere in London.
The Archbishop seemed won over by the actor, tweeting after the visit:
“Great visit from @russellcrowe, talked about Noah and his films. He spoke to as many people as possible, sense of humour, impressive”
Russell may have enjoyed a lengthy conversation with Welby and his staff but he wasn’t impressed by something he found in the Archbishop’s office – a picture of his Les Mis co-star Hugh Jackman. “Visited with the Archbishop ofCanterbury at Lambeth Palace, guess who the office girls pinup is @RealHughJackman ?”, the actor tweeted.
While the Archbishop declined to give his thoughts on the film, a source close to him said that he found it “interesting and thought-provoking”, The Telegraph report.
Russell’s visit with the Archbishop comes after the actor tried and failed to secure a private audience with the Pope, during his trip to Italy to promote the movie.
Russell was hoping to screen the film for the Pope at Vatican City, advertising his plea during a relentless Twitter campaign in recent weeks. Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi has confirmed though that request from the film’s producers for a private audience was immediately turned down.
Instead the actor was reduced to being one (famous) face among a crowd of 80,000 who turned out to hear Pope Francis’ general audience two weeks ago.
As well as politely denying Crowe and the producers’ request for a private screening, Vatican rep Lombardi also informed them that the Pope would not watch the film as he cannot give any public endorsement.
Aronofsky’s movie has come under criticism from religious groups for its retelling of the biblical tale, with Crowe declaring this week that it is not a “Sunday school story”.
“When I started this process, I probably had a very limited understanding of Noah, which I believe is true of most people,” he said. “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.
“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.”