Epic day for movie fans as Russell jets in for 'Noah'
HOLLYWOOD star Russell Crowe jetted into Ireland this weekend – but it was a whistle stop visit with just enough time to get in a pint or two of the black stuff.
The Hollywood A-lister enjoyed a jar with Boyzone singer Ronan Keating who was celebrating his birthday with his girlfriend Storm Uechtritz in Dublin's favoured pub of the stars, Keoghs.
But it seems that he got a taste for the black magic as he asked his entourage if he could pull in again for a farewell drink on his way to the airport.
The actor, who was in town promoting the epic biblical movie Noah slipped into Bertie Ahern's local Fagans to down a pint of Guinness before jetting out again.
Despite the downpour yesterday afternoon, the star received a warm welcome outside the Savoy cinema on O'Connell St from over a hundred fans who waited in the pouring rain for up to two hours to see their hero.
And their patience was rewarded. Crowe praised their efforts, tweeting afterwards: "Thank you Dublin for the welcome, the turnout, the smiles and the Guinness."
The new €94m epic has received its fair share of criticism for its portrayal of Noah and has been banned in several Islamic countries.
But Crowe (49) told the Sunday Independent he was taking the controversy in his stride: "We kind of expected it, just as we expected it to be banned in certain Muslim countries as well. But it's gratifying that people are actually getting to see the movie now when you've had 14 months based on people's opinion rather than actually having seen it."
His trip to Dublin is the first of three quick stops in the three Celtic capitals as he embarks on a promotional blitz.
The Oscar winner, who is of Irish, Scottish and Welsh heritage, couldn't decide which city he most wanted the movie to premiere in.
So he opted to visit all three in one day.
Despite the criticism, Noah is expected to sweep away the opposition at the US box office this weekend, with analysts predicting the biblical epic will take $41m (€30m) in its opening three days.
The film, directed by Darren Aronofsky, has already made $22m overseas, having opened in Australia, Korea, Mexico and Russia. In the US, it opens in 3,500 theatres, and is expected to knock the thriller Divergent off the top spot.