- (Photo: Sky News screenshot)
"Noah" star Emma Watson said Director Darren Aronofsky was very sensitive to and mindful of the biblical story while making the movie.
"I think with any text there is always artistic license, you're always looking at someone's specific interpretation of it," Watson told Sky News in an interview posted Monday.
"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."
In the same interview, Watson also shared her thoughts on religion.
"I already, before I did the movie, I had a sense that I was more spiritual than specifically religious. I had a sense that I believed in a Higher Power, but that I was more of a Universalist, that I saw – I see that there are these unifying tenets between so many religions, and I'm really interested in those things that are more far-reaching than culture, nationality, race, religion," the British actress said.
Watson added that she found it "amazing" to work on a movie that "celebrates faith."
The film, in which Watson plays Noah's adopted daughter Ila, has stirred controversy for what some Christians say is an unbiblical portrayal of the flood narrative. Evangelist and filmmaker Ray Comfort announced that he would be releasing his own version of the story, "Noah and the Last Days," on Youtube and DVD on March 28, the same day that Aronofsky's film hits theaters.
The movie has also been banned in several Muslim countries for depicting biblical figures like Noah on screen, which goes against Islamic teachings.
A disclaimer by Paramount Pictures was later attached to promotional material surrounding "Noah," stating: "While artistic license 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." It directs viewers to the biblical story found in Genesis.
Other stars of the film have, meanwhile, defended its portrayal of biblical themes. Jennifer Connelly, who plays Noah's wife Naameh, insisted in an interview last week that the movie is "true to the spirit of the story in the Bible."
"What you'll find is that the controversy that was generated by people who were speculating hadn't seen the film yet, for the most part. We're now getting feedback from religious leaders who have seen the film and are really embracing it and supporting it," Connelly told ABC's "Good Morning America."
Russell Crowe, who plays the titular character in "Noah," noted that the filmmakers "fully expected" controversy.
"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," Crowe told journalists in Rio de Janeiro, The Telegraph reported Saturday.
"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," he continued. "In my eyes, Noah is just a normal man and, as he begins to realize the full weight of the task he's been given, it weighs down on him."