Noah Star Emma Watson Defends 'Sensitive' Film
Noah star Emma Watson has defended the controversial film but admitted she had doubts about Darren Aronofsky taking on the biblical tale.
Aronofsky has described Noah as "the least biblical biblical film ever made" and has received widespread criticism for the movie's strong environmental message.
It has been banned in the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar because it "contradicts the teachings of Islam".
And while the British actress, who plays adopted daughter Ila, was not sure at first that the Black Swan director and Noah went "hand-in-hand", she said she jumped on board when she read the script.
"Darren kind of does these very dark, very intense, very gritty, very real films and then Noah is kind of, you see this guy with the long beard and there's the animals going two-by-two and there's the dove and the rainbow and it's kind of, you can't really picture it," she said.
Noah is the most expensive film Watson has made since the end of the Harry Potter franchise, in which she played Hermione Granger.
The reported cost of the production for the film, which also stars Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connolly and Sir Anthony Hopkins, is $130m (£79m).
The film has been criticised by religious groups for failing to stick to the sacred story and Paramount has been forced to issue an explanatory message to ease tensions.
Watson said: "I think with any text there is always artistic licence, you're always looking at someone's specific interpretation of it.
"And I think Darren has tried to be very sensitive, he has tried to be very mindful.
"He didn't take the task lightly, it's a very inclusive piece and I think it is very true to the spirit and the themes of the biblical story."
Last week Pope Francis became involved in the debate when Crowe attempted but failed to arrange a private meeting while he was in Rome promoting the film.
Paramount's disclaimer will state before each screening: "The film is inspired by the story of Noah.
"While artistic licence has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide.
"The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis."
Noah is released in the UK on April 4.
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