(Variety) Russell Crowe broke his silence about his much-publicized trip to Vatican City last week, sharing details with Variety about why it was so important for him to visit Pope Francis.

Crowe, who had been tweeting the Pope about his upcoming Biblical adventure for weeks, landed in Rome on March 19, along with director Darren Aronofsky and Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore. Studio executives had hoped the trip would serve as a photo-op, but an actual photograph of Crowe and the Pope never surfaced.

“Noah: The Real Story” includes everything you wanted to know about Noah, the Flood, the animals, the Ark and even the search for the Ark today.

Instead, the “Noah” team received seats in the VIP section of St. Peter’s Square, along with thousands of others, to listen to the Pontiff’s fatherhood sermon, which fell on Father’s Day in Rome. Crowe wouldn’t say if he exchanged any words with the Pope.

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