Russell Crowe wanted a papal blessing for ‘Noah’ but Pope Francis blew him off


Here are some new photos of Russell Crowe at the Moscow photocall for Noah, his bloated, water-logged Biblical epic. Russell’s been relatively MIA from promotional duties thus far, which… considering he’s the lead, that does not bode well. As for these photos… even though I’m pretty sure he’s an angry wanker, I still have some residual affection for Russell. I think he looks chubby and cute here. The Daily Mail was making fun of his (obvious) dye job, but that might be for a film…?

Anyway, one of the few “promotional” things Crowe has done thus far is try to get some kind of Vatican screening for Noah. He’s been tweeting the Vatican (seriously!) and the studio has been trying to get Mr. Good Guy Pope Francis to say something, anything about the film. But it’s a no go.

Pope Francis has nixed a meeting with the creative team behind “Noah,” including star Russell Crowe, director Darren Aronofsky and Paramount vice chair Rob Moore, which studio executives had been scrambling to schedule as a photo-op, Variety has learned.

The meeting was never fully confirmed, but tentatively on the calendar for Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in the VIP section so the Pope could figuratively lend a blessing to the $125 million Biblical epic. The reason the Vatican cancelled it, according to a source, is over concerns word would leak, causing a spectacle as Crowe and Aronofsky landed in Rome.

When reached by Variety last week, Aronofsky said the meeting had been proposed, but it wouldn’t happen if anybody reported or Tweeted about it.

“Noah,” scheduled for U.S. release on March 28, has been criticized by some religious groups for taking too many liberties with the story of Noah’s Ark.

Even though the Pope doesn’t normally screen movies, he recently met with Philomena Lee, the subject of the Weinstein Co’s “Philomena” at the height of Oscars season in February.

[From Variety]

My guess is that the Pope heard some of the bad reviews as well. And the film has already been banned in several countries, including Qatar, Bahrain, and the UAE. Paramount is bracing for more bans across the Middle East. There’s also an outcry from American evangelicals too, because there are some derivations from the Biblical story. So, boycotts all over the place. Which might work to give the film some added “danger” and some cool cachet… if only the film was high art or something. But it’s not. It’s just a bloated Biblical mess. Stay away, Pope Francis!



Photos courtesy of WENN, PR Photos.

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40 Responses to “Russell Crowe wanted a papal blessing for ‘Noah’ but Pope Francis blew him off”

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  1. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I’m not Catholic, so maybe I’m wrong, but that seems just…tacky and presumptuous and almost offensive to me. It’s not the Pope’s job to endorse movies. How dare they bother him with something so materialistic and trivial? And really, they tweeted the Pope? Good for him for saying no. What a circus that would have been. Nobody has an ounce of sense anymore.

    • lenje says:


    • AG-UK says:

      I agree.

    • starrywonder says:

      I agree. Not Catholic either but seriously Hollywood have some common sense that your movies are not important to religious or political figures. Ugh.

    • megs283 says:

      I am Catholic, and I totally agree. Would they bug President Obama over this? For comparison, the U.S. has ~319 million residents, and the Catholic Church has ~1.1 billion members. The Pope is a very busy man who has his mind on weightier matters…

      • elisa says:

        Absolutely agree. It is completely ludicrous to bother Pope Francis with this sort of thing.

    • feebee says:

      Also agree. I can also see some Hollywood type pitching a fit that the Pope won’t do anything for their film when/but he met with Philomena Lee. When in reality that was the least he could do for the woman who still holds that faith after what was done to her and many others in the Church’s name. Besides, her story was true. Noah’s….. not so much.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Right, that wasn’t about promoting the movie, but trying to right a wrong.

  2. Kiddo says:

    “In the much-hyped build-up to Passion of the Christ in 2004, Mel Gibson screened the polarizing film for Pope John Paul II, who may or may not have endorsed it by saying, “It is as it was.” The Pope later met with actor Jim Caviezel and blessed him in a priceless photo op that helped promote the movie.”

    I guess lesson learned, from the Vatican, about how Hollywood things can come back to bite you in the butt?

    • Sarah says:

      The film didn’t bite the Vatican in the butt. Mel did later. But really, Mel was the least of the problems of the Catholic church in the 2000s.

  3. Dani2 says:

    Is this film going to be any good? It just sounds cringey and unnecessary to me.

    • Lark says:

      I follow Devin Faraci of BadAss Digest on twitter, and Paramount paid for him and five other film journalists to see an early showing of Noah in Mexico City last week and interview Darren (they weren’t allowed to write a review about the movie (just their interviews) but they could tweet some general thoughts). I believe he quipped he was going to get in trouble because he said too much, but he said that it’s for people who liked The Fountain (which was polarizing when it was released). So probably not…especially since Russell seems to be attempting to avoid doing that much PR.

  4. PunkyMomma says:

    Good for Pope Francis.

  5. AG-UK says:

    Also, I use to think he was sooo hot (Gladiator) man he looks a bit rough.

    • Erinn says:

      It WAS 14 years ago that gladiator came out.
      I know he’s a bit of a rage machine, but I still have a huge soft spot for the man. And I loooved Cinderella Man.

      • Dani2 says:

        Gladiator was 14 years ago?? Sh-t, time has gone by so fast. I was 10 when I first watched that movie.

      • Hiddles forever says:


        I was young and in my twenties, geez!

        Still loves Russell Crowe but he seems prematurely going downhill… Sometimes he tweets things totally out of context… Senile dementia already?

        And what about tweeting the Pope? Come on Russell, you aged a lot and not well…

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        I NEVER thought Russell Crowe was hot. I always thought Russell Crowe spent WAY too much time in that movie putting on his ‘I’m so serious, I’m so sexeh’ face. My twin LOVES Gladiator, and he’d watched it tons of times before I even got around to watching it.

        You can tell how old I was (17) when I saw it because I only watched it once I caught sight of Joaquin Phoenix……he was so beautiful…he’s still beautiful, but man.

  6. Lark says:

    The fact that Russell seems to be trying to avoid doing as much press as possible is as BAD sign for the movie. Jennifer Connelly probably feels some sort of loyalty towards Darren because she’s known him since Requiem for a Dream, and Emma is at a point in her career where she needs to be there….but the Russell thing seems like a big, flashing warning sign that this film is going to suck regardless of what the religious people think. I bet the news that the Pope turned him down will alienate the uber religious who were already on the fence about this film as it was…..I really think this going to be a gigantic, total flop.

  7. TG says:

    If the evangelicals have their panties in a wad then I might want to see the movie. It seems the countries that want to restrict freedom along with the American Taliban groups don’t like this movie so there must be something good to see.

  8. LAK says:

    He was so hot GLADIATOR era.

  9. Cazzee says:

    LOL yeah his hair is for a movie – it’s a very popular feature titled, “I am a clueless middle-aged man”.

  10. Jay says:

    Saw the trailer for this before Long Walk to Freedom, and it looked soooooooooo bad. Like. Just. So bad. Not even good popcorn viewing.

  11. mimif says:

    He totally looks like a busted & bloated Ed Norton in those pics. Is that mean? (Sorry, Russell.)

  12. doofus says:

    Waterworld v.2

    • Cricket says:

      Lol! I was just thinking the same thing! I used to love Russell Crowe but he takes himself way too seriously and his lifestyle (hard parties, wannabe rock star) is clearly making an impact. Lay off the ciggies and alcohol Russell!

      He is a shit the way he treated his wife too.

  13. Adrien says:

    That’s cool of him to meet the real Philomena considering her biopic had some anti Catholic sentiments.

  14. Janet says:

    This movie looks like a toxic career buster and I’m not concerned about his career, I’m more concerned about Emma Watson’s. This sodden mess could dog her tracks for a while.

    The only film I ever liked Crowe in was L. A. Confidential.

  15. Moec1 says:

    I honestly thought that pic was John Goodman!!!

  16. GlimmerBunny says:

    I love Russel Crowe. I even liked him in “Les Miserables”! And I love Jennifer Connelly too so I’m gonna see “Noah”, even though it looks like a mess.

  17. ncboudicca says:

    You know…I grew up Catholic. I’m not practicing now because I’ve been too disgusted by various goings-on. But Pope Francis, he’s the man. The fact that anyone would think that the most humble man to be Pope, a man who wants us to focus on poverty and is anti-materialistic to the core, would have anything to do with endorsing a bloated Hollywood movie is just incredible to me.

  18. Cornelius says:

    Russel Crowe is such a weirdo.

  19. Musey says:

    I might be vaguely interested in seeing this movie if the entire cast weren’t inexplicably white. What kind of tone-deaf moron makes a movie set in Biblical times and doesn’t cast one single person of color? It looks like it’ll be a trainwreck no matter what, but that’s what always stands out to me as the most ridiculous thing whenever I see the trailer.

    • bee says:

      Noah co-stars Jennifer Connelly, whose mother is Jewish, and Logan Lerman, who is just Jewish. Surely they can play Old Testament characters.

  20. ZenB says:

    I too loved him in Gladiator and LA Confidential but DAYUM! Those are mom jeans aren’t they? SMH.