Russell Crowe leads the cast of the Darren Aronofsky epic “Noah,” a screen adaptation of the biblical tale sourced from the Book of Genesis. On set, he revealed an aging Noah with long scraggly hair and gray-speckled beard. Although many of his movie roles also featured him with a beard, his titular character for this project required him to wear a much heavier beard, but not necessarily a very long one. This film is set to flood into theaters on March 2014.
Russell Crowe’s Look as Noah
Crowe’s period look for “Noah” readily showed the downtrodden expression of a man with a divine mission to build an ark to save creation from the wrath of the apocalyptic flood. The weighty task given to this prophet shaped him as a headstrong family man with a well-developed ark builder’s physique. Clearly, he is a bit bulkier, but not exactly fatter, in this film when compared to his most recent screen role as Javert in “Les Miserables.”
Noah and the Ark
Noah is known as the patriarch who built a giant wooden ark that protected his family and shepherded earth’s animals to safety from the doomsday flood. The fully bearded Crowe, spotted in Iceland during the film’s principal photography, looked like a solid tree trunk with his brown, earthy wardrobe. Released behind-the-scene images also showed glimpses of stony landmarks, chilling waters, and stormy skies as backdrops for the story.
New York was another primary location for the project, which housed its two massive ship sets. A Brooklyn sound stage secured the ark utilized for the indoor shoots, while Long Island’s Oyster Bay became home to the ark meant for the outdoor shoots.
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy brought irony to “Noah,” which just didn’t halt the high-profile production for a while, it also placed one of its major sets in high risk of damage. The outdoor vessel docked in Oyster Bay, which was directly situated in Sandy’s destructive path, was said to be not seaworthy. Although this shouldn’t be a problem for a structure simply intended as a film set, the flooding and wind gusts that slammed the East Coast seriously threatened it, which led to articles reporting the irony of this Noah’s Ark replica being on direct course with an actual hurricane.
Noah as a Film Character
As expected, Crowe’s Noah was already a subject for controversy early on in the production. His portrayal, which was particularly based on the graphic novel source of Aronosfky and his co-writer Ari Handel, alarmed some people on the possible loss of the narrative’s religious elements.
According to Aronofsky, he has expressed his fascination with the Noah’s Ark tale since childhood. As a director, he found this great opportunity to finally helm the story of a man he saw as a dark and complicated survivor who faced his fate just like any other human being.
Aronofsky’s approach to the biblical material came from an ecological perspective. He put a sort of barbaric, Old Testament vibe to the world that’s already ravaged by wickedness and immorality. The script painted Noah, alongside his family, as a pioneer environmentalist.