Russell Crowe's new epic Noah hits theaters this Friday and we sat down with the star over the weekend to get his thoughts on filming the $130 million blockbuster, which has already come under heavy criticism from some religious groups for its depictions of the towering Biblical figure.
"When I was bringing it up with friends and family they said, 'Ah, Noah. He loved the animals...' said Crowe, about explaining his role in Noah. "And I was like, 'Yeah, okay, but he's also the man who stands by and watches the entire human race perish.' This is a huge task he's given, and a massive burden."
VIDEO: Russell Crowe: People Will be Surprised by Noah
The 49-year-old Crowe -- who credited director Darren Aronofsky's vision to make Noah an ambitious, epic undertaking for a major reason for coming on board -- defended the film against criticism from some religious groups that have questioned whether the movie accurately portrays the biblical account of Noah.
"That just seems funny to me. Because every single person will interpret the Bible differently anyway. So I don't these people who make this assumption that we all see things the same way because we don't," said Crowe, adding that many of the critics actually know very little about the film. "To write a treatise condemning a movie that you haven't seen is just the height of arrogance. And that speaks -- in and of itself -- about something that I think is probably one of the great negatives or organized religion -- the feeling that you have to condemn something before you even know what it is."
Other cast members include Emma Watson as Noah's adopted daughter Ila, Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah, and Jennifer Connelly as Noah's wife, Naameh.
VIDEO: Watch Russell Crowe as Noah
Watch the video for Watson's reaction to first embarking on the set that housed the gigantic arc and to hear Hopkins reveal his thoughts on teaming up with Aronofsky.