'We expected the criticism' - Russell Crowe talks 'Noah' with independent.ie ahead of Irish premiere
Russell Crowe has arrived in Dublin for the premiere of his new €94m blockbuster Noah.
The red carpet has been rolled out at the Savoy cinema for the inaugural screening of the movie, which has been banned in several Islamic countries.
But although the Gladiator star (49) said on Twitter that he is looking forward to having a pint of stout in Dublin, he'd better make it a quick one.
"Dublin, Edinburgh, Cardiff, red carpets and all. Will have a Guinness in Dublin, a single malt in Edinburgh," he said.
His trip to Dublin is the first of three quick stops in the three Celtic capitals as he embarks on a promotional blitz.
Crowe, who is of Irish, Scottish and Welsh heritage, couldn't decide which city he most wanted the movie to premiere in, so he has opted to visit all three in one day.
Massive crowds are expected to turn up to the northside cinema to catch a glimpse of the straight-talking actor who was last in Ireland in 2006.
His new movie is inspired by the biblical story of Noah and the great flood.
Some groups have criticised Noah as a disrespectful portrayal of events in the Bible.
Responding to the controversy, Crowe said: "We have endured 12 to 14 months of irrational criticism and now people are starting to see it and to realise how respectful it is, and how true to the source material it is and how intense an experience it is in the movie theatre, you know, so that's cool."
He has just returned from a trip to see Pope Francis in the Vatican.
"Given the amount of controversy surrounding this film, and has been surrounding it for a year now, the fact we were invited to the Vatican was extremely kind," he continued.
"The Holy Father showed a great level of consistency with the things he's been saying and things he's been doing. It was an incredible privilege to be invited.
Co-starring Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone and Anthony Hopkins, Noah is due for general release next Friday.