Logan Lerman, who has received acclaim in “Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” plays Ham; while British heartthrob Douglas Booth, who won accolades as in the latest film version of “Romeo & Juliet,” portrays Shem.
While the Bible doesn’t give the exact age of Noah’s sons, it’s believed that they were somewhere in their low 100s. “In an era when men live 900 years, how old should a 100 year old look? Or a 500 year old? Noah had kids at 500, built the Ark at 600, died at 950,” Aronofsky explains. “So in our story, when Noah is building the Ark, should he look like you or I would look if we somehow lived to 500, or should he look like a man who’s lived 5/9thths of his life – in other words a middle aged man? And Noah’s kids who are about 1/10 of their natural life-span – what should they look like? What matters is that they are relatively young compared to their father, still learning their own sense of manhood from their patriarch. We wanted people to feel that.”
While the prospect of being the only human survivors of the deluge is difficult for Noah (Russell Crowe) and wife Naameh (Jennifer Connelly), it is especially hard for their middle son, Ham, to accept. “That’s a difficult thing to accept at any age – that you’re going to be among a handful of people to survive humanity’s destruction,” says Russell Crowe. “But when you’re talking about young men in the prime of their lives, who feel they won’t ever experience even what their parents have experienced, you’re going to have moments of rebellion.”
Ham does have his moments of rebellion, but Logan Lerman views his character as motivated by hope. “Technically, he’s the wicked child, because he questions what his father says,” says Lerman. “But I think he’s also just a kid looking for someone to love.”
Meanwhile, Douglas Booth describes Shem as seemingly the most dutiful of Noah’s sons. “Shem really is his father’s son throughout the movie, until one pivotal moment,” the actor describes.
But even for Shem, the future his father is taking them into is terrifying, and Booth tried to imagine what it would be like to truly be in that position. “Imagine if you knew you were going to be the last family on the planet and everyone else is going to die,” he says. “It’s such a huge thing and I love how Darren captures that in such a personal way.”
“The Bible says that Noah, his sons, and his sons’ wives went onto the ark,” says Aronofsky. “And that is exactly what happens in the film, although it happens in a way that is surprising and unexpected. By the end of the film, it is clear that there are 3 sons and 3 wives and all of them were on the ark. But we used the way those wives came on, and the uncertainty about that, as a means to help dramatize the questions of whether mankind is good or wicked, deserves justice or mercy, should be wiped out or should be spared – the questions we felt were at the heart of the Noah story.”
Inspired by the epic story of courage, sacrifice and hope, Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”) brings to the screen his personal vision of “Noah.” Russell Crowe portrays the man chosen to undertake a momentous mission of rescue before an apocalyptic flood destroys the world. The film offers a mesmerizing visual adventure through everlasting themes of good and evil, destruction and mercy, hope, family and second chances.
The film sets out to imagine the largely unknown life of Noah and his family, inviting audiences into both the spectacle and the heart of their experience as the earth disappears under a colossal deluge that will undo everything … yet lead to a new day for all Creation.
Now showing across the Philippines, “Noah” will be distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.