The trades got into it this week with Variety floating the boat that Noah star Russell Crowe‘s attempt to meet Pope Francis was spurned by the Vatican, while THR refuted that was ever real because of the feeling Crowe’s stardom would attract too much attention. So what’s the truth? Deadline has learned that Noah star Crowe, director Darren Aronofsky and Paramount executive Rob Moore did in fact get to meet Pope Francis today, after the Vatican extended an olive branch and hosted the trio in the official VIP section of this morning’s Udienza.
I think the studio was a little coy earlier in the week. This was something that Aronofsky wanted to do after he’d just made this Biblical epic. He was going to be near Rome promoting it, and has been moved by the Pope’s message of tolerance, feeding the poor and preserving the planet. But they didn’t want it to seem they were after some cheesy photo op to promote a Biblical movie. I’d heard those same rumors and called Monday, but I guess I’m glad I waited to see what would actually happen. Aronofsky was certainly moved by the experience.
“Pope Francis’ comments on stewardship and our responsibility to the natural world are inspirational and of the utmost importance.” Aronofsky said after. “When the opportunity to hear him speak in person on the anniversary of his first year in office I couldn’t miss the chance to listen and learn.”