Amid a din of hammering on the mighty Ark he is building and the intermittent lowing of assorted livestock, Noah director Darren Aronofsky readies Russell Crowe for his starring role as God's chosen one.

Darren Aronofsky: Now, Russell, our Noah is a resilient, stoic man—a man who listens attentively to God's bidding, but doesn't offer a single word on behalf of his people, even as they're destroyed by his maker's wrath.


Russell Crowe stares hard at Aronofsky, nostrils subtly flaring. A horsefly buzzes around his forehead then, thinking of better of it, departs swiftly.

Darren Aronofsky: He's a tiller of the soil, but also a notorious drunkard. He's a survivor who weathers the greatest storm imaginable, but his insides roil with an inner sadness at the knowledge of the great and terrible duties he must perform.


Russell Crowe hears a dog bark in the distance. His stomach growls as, unconsciously, he begins to salivate.

Darren Aronofsky: We must construct him as Noah constructed his Ark—efficiently, no space wasted. We must make Noah wizened and hardened, a bedraggled man who looks as though he's been battered by the seas and his animal charges, left torn and ragged, yet he remains unbowed. Our Noah must look as though he's lived through centuries of hardship and seen the deaths of a thousand men, all met with an unblinking eye.


Russell Crowe clenches his jaw rhythmically, thoughtfully. Using his bare hands, he tears a hole in a potato sack and sticks his head through it.

Darren Aronofsky: Perfect!

Exeunt, pursued by Russell Crowe.

[Image via USA Today]