Russell Crowe, Noah and meeting Pope Francis: 'Look I'm not Catholic, but I like this guy'

Pontiff megafan Crowe finally got his wish to meet the religious leader, and couldn't praise his holiness enough

He’s tweeted at him, sent him numerous messages and even turned up to mass at the Vatican.

But Noah star Russell Crowe’s dreams of meeting Pope Francis were finally realised, and he was more than a little charmed by the pontiff.

“Look I'm not Catholic and I've never felt any connection with any previous Pope, but I like this guy,” he told Good Morning America.

“I like what he says... He's changing the tone of the way you regard the Pope and I think it is a magnificent thing. I was very privileged and humbled to be in that environment.”

The fact the long-rumoured scheduled meeting actually went ahead as planned, Crowe said, stood as testament to who the religious leader is publicly.

 

“I think considering the controversy surrounding this movie, it would have been so easy for the Vatican to rescind that invitation and just let it be that way but the kindness to actually let that invitation stand though is consistent with who he has been.”

The film, in which Crowe plays the impressively bearded lead role of Noah, has received a barrage of criticism over the way director Darren Aronofsky has chosen to portray the characters.

And the actor wasn’t shy about sharing his feelings about the reaction to the movie so far.

'We've had probably over a year now of very harsh criticism from a bunch of people who have put their name and stamp on an opinion that's not even based on the movie or seeing the movie, just an assumption of what it could be or how bad it could be or how wrong it could be in their eyes,” he said.

“I think quite frankly [that] is bordering on absolute stupidity, because now, I think, people are seeing the movie and they're realizing how respectful it is and how potent it is.”

Instead, as is only his promotional duty to do so, he labels the feature-length a ‘work of art’.

“You come out of this movie and you want to talk, about our stewardship of the earth, our relationship to animals, what is spirituality, who am I in this world - all these fantastic subjects for conversation.

“Art that can do that for people is a wonderful thing.”

Noah will be shown in cinemas across the UK on 31 March 2014.

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