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The age of biblical epics starring the likes of Charlton Heston came to a close a long, long time ago, but here hoping — praying? — to change that is the big, roaring “Noah” from Darren Aronofsky, which steamrolled into the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan for its splashy premiere Wednesday night.

Russell Crowe, who plays the title role, made an appearance on the red carpet, this time in better duds than in the film — Giorgio Armani — trailed by costars Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth.

This story first appeared in the March 28, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

There was something slightly different about this red carpet, though. Mingling with the likes of Us Weekly and “E News” were a crop of religious outlets, like The Christian Post and something that was credentialed as “Reel Faith.” Controversy has dogged “Noah” since its inception, as some pundits expressed concern that Aronofsky had taken too many liberties with the Biblical story. Paramount Pictures even issued a disclaimer before the theatrical trailer to appease the skeptics: “The film is inspired by the story of Noah.” But all that was forgotten on the dog-eat-dog red carpet, where all that mattered was a few meager minutes of face time with the movie stars.


Watson, first to arrive, wore a floor-length Oscar de la Renta gown and fur-trimmed Christian Louboutin pumps. “These are the only pair in the whole world,” she said, hiking up her skirt to show them off. “Cinderella moment.” After a couple of serious dramas — “The Bling Ring,” “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” — the “Harry Potter” starlet is pining for lighter material. “If somebody could send me the script to a really great romantic comedy, I would love that,” she said.

Booth described working with Aronofsky as an “absolute dream,” but said it was a challenging shoot. “The hardest part was the rain. There was 5,000 gallons of water on our head , so it was definitely a lot,” he said. “It was very cold. Think of how cold it is tonight, and we were in November.”

Ian Somerhalder, 50 Cent, Alexandra Daddario, Tyson Beckford and Judah Friedlander only made quick pit stops on the carpet before rushing inside seeking refuge from the cold.

Despite a reputation for his temper, Crowe gamely stopped to chat with several outlets before posing for a quick selfie with 50 Cent and eloping inside the theater. The Christian Post and “Reel Faith” reporters looked crestfallen to have missed their star.

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