As far as blockbuster films go, “Noah” is about as big as they come.
“It’s a really epic, rich, I think elaborate telling of this story,” actress Jennifer Connelly, who plays Naameh, Noah’s wife, said today on “Good Morning America” of the movie that hits theaters on March 28.
“It’s like nothing Darren has done before,” she added of the film’s director and co-writer, Darren Aranofsky.
The movie, inspired by the biblical tale of one man’s edict from God to save mankind, is brimming with special effects.
The filmmakers built a mammoth recreation of the ark in Oyster Bay, N.Y.
“Our version of it goes 165 feet, in our reality,” said Mark Friedberg, production designer of “Noah.” “We will extend it digitally to be about 500 feet.”
The set took more than a year to design and six months to build.
“We built it to the actual scope that’s described in the Bible, which is actually a pretty impressive-sized ship,” said Aranofsky.
The first time actor Russell Crowe, who plays Noah, worked on scenes featuring the exterior of the ark, he was blown away.
“Geez, it was an experience,” said Crowe, 49.
Production staff even used actual material available during ancient times to construct the ark.
“The ramp was there to serve one function, for reptiles to be able to get up there, for mammoths to be able to get in here,” Friedberg said.
The movie has drawn early controversy because some critics say it veers too far from the Bible. However, Connelly rejects that notion.
“Really, it’s true to the spirit of the story in the Bible,” she said.
“What you’ll find is that the controversy that was generated [was] by people who were speculating [and] hadn’t seen the film yet, for the most part,” said Connelly, 43. “We’re now getting feedback from religious leaders who have seen the film and are really embracing it and supporting it.”
To prepare for her role as Naameh, the wife of the man chosen by God to undertake a momentous mission of rescue before an apocalyptic flood destroys the world, Connelly said, she consulted with archaeologists about what women of the time would have been doing, and read other parts of the Bible to draw inspiration.