Boat tox: Pope nixes meet with 'Noah'

Posted: March 21, 2014

RUSSELL CROWE  went to meet the pope, but the pope said "No-ah."

Crowe and the makers of the big-budget film about the animal ark-ivist attended Pope Francis' general audience yesterday but didn't get what they most wanted: a photo-op.

Maybe Crowe will have better luck if he accompanies the Philadelphia delegation later this month.

Crowe had lobbied hard for a papal thumbs-up for his film "Noah," and the ensuing publicity a Francis blessing would bring. The film has been banned in much of the Muslim world because of its depiction of the prophet Noah, while U.S. conservatives have complained the film takes liberties with the biblical account of the flood.

(Hey, Moses probably didn't look like Charlton Heston, but no one protested over it.)

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the request from producers of "Noah" for a private audience was immediately turned down.

In an email yesterday to the Associated Press, Lombardi said there was similarly no scheduled "meet and greet" after yesterday's general audience, when VIPs can often get a quick word with the pope.

"They could have been at the audience like anyone else," Lombardi said.

The audience drew an estimated crowd of 80,000, so it would be kind of like getting a quick word with Chip Kelly after an Eagles game.

Pope Francis is loath to lend such blessings for publicity. Given his sensitivities to the Muslim world - and his upcoming trip to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories - it would seem natural that he would decline any public endorsement of a film that might offend Muslim viewers.

Variety reported that the "Noah" delegation, including Crowe, director Darren Aronofsky, producer Scott Franklin, and Paramount Pictures VP Rob Moore, had met with the pope. Variety cited a spokeswoman for Universal, which is distributing the film in Italy.

But in an email to AP, Paramount merely said the delegation "went to hear" Francis' address at the audience.

Crowe was spotted in the VIP section of St. Peter's Square, but was too far back to reach the pope.

Porn star threatened

In case you're not up on the story of Belle Knox (not her real name), she's a student at Duke who decided to pay her tuition bill by becoming a porn performer.

When she got outed, death threats followed and now she's taking time off from school. We're sure there's a "School of Hard Knox" joke in here somewhere, but . . .

Knox was recently interviewed by the Huffington Post and claimed she's not a slut, but a feminist, and here's why:

"The thing about porn that most people don't understand is that it juxtaposes this world where women live and where we're so often robbed of our choice," Knox said, sounding like a Duke student. "In porn, before a scene, I set all of my boundaries. I say, 'This is what I'm willing to do and this is what I'm not willing to do.' . . . I can say no at any time. I don't do things that I don't want to do. That's not the nature of my work."

Sheesh, we wish we could say no at any time when work made us do things we didn't want to.

As for the death threats, grow up people. The woman's job is not illegal and no one's forcing you to watch.

* In an oddly related story, In Touch Weekly has deciphered another dirty dozen names on Lindsay Lohan's list of celebrities she claims to have bedded.

The 12 "lucky" lads Lindsay allegedly slept with include: Ashton Kutcher, Ryan Phillippe, shipping heir Stavros Niarchos, rugby star Danny Cipriani, restaurateur Maggio Cipriani (no relation), Benicio Del Toro, New York Ranger Aaron Voros, Orlando Bloom, indie film producer Josh Mond, model Petey Wright and two guys In Touch guesses at.

Tattle hopes your shots are current.

TATTBITS

* According to 24/7 Molly Eichel, Coatesville skating sensation Johnny Weir announced via Twitter that he and husband Victor Voronov have split after three years of marriage.

Tara Lipinski, you homewrecker.

Billy Crystal has agreed to star in the new FX television series "The Comedians," in which he's paired with Josh Gad in a story about two comics in a generational clash. The pilot was directed by Larry Charles, who worked on "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

FX said yesterday that it has ordered 13 episodes.

* Uber-talented Anna Kendrick (she sings, she dances, she's funny) will host "Saturday Night Live" on April 5 with musical guest Pharrell.

Seth Rogen will host the following week, with musical guest Ed Sheeran.

* In TV synergy news, Coldplay's Chris Martin will advise singers on "The Voice," a month before Coldplay's new album drops in May.

* In Las Vegas, an armed thief who picked the wrong dressing room to loot was tackled by well-muscled members of the Thunder From Down Under male revue as he headed for an exit at Excalibur, police and hotel officials said yesterday.

The man fired one shot as he was confronted by performers who saw him fleeing with their belongings about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Fortunately the thief's aim was not as good as the women who throw their underwear at the buff men. No one was hit.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.


Email: gensleh@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5678

On Twitter: @DNTattle

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