March 20, 2014 10:39am PT by Ashley Lee
Jennifer Connelly Says Religious Leaders Are Now Embracing 'Noah' (Video)
Jennifer Connelly is defending the biblical relevance of Darren Aronofsky's Noah.
The film, which also stars Russell Crowe, Emma Watson and Douglas Booth, drew early criticism for straying too far from the Bible's account of the apocalyptic flood. The Hollywood Reporter previously reported that Paramount made as many as half a dozen of its own cuts of the movie, and screen-tested them for various U.S. Christian conferences and pastors. And in a gesture of goodwill toward religious groups, Paramount altered the marketing materials to state that the film was a creative rather than a literal adaptation of the story.
"What you'll find is that the controversy that was generated [was] by people who were speculating [and] hadn't seen the film yet, for the most part," said Connelly. "We're now getting feedback from religious leaders who have seen the film and are really embracing it and supporting it. I agree with you -- while it is very creative and very bold and very complex, really, it's true to the spirit of the story in the Bible."
Connelly also explained that she discussed ancient women's lifestyles with archaeologists and read other parts of the Bible for background on her character.
The actress' comments echo those of Aronofsky, who told THR that the film reflects "the key themes of the Noah story in Genesis -- of faith and hope and God's promise to mankind." The studio is aware that a vocal segment of Christian viewers might reject the film over what they see as inaccuracy. Still, Paramount vice chair Rob Moore said, "Our anticipation is that the vast majority of the Christian community will embrace it."
Additionally, Crowe and the Noah team recently met briefly with Pope Francis.
Noah opens in theaters March 28. Watch the interview below: