'Exodus: Gods and Kings'.
(photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)
London- The crowds were out in force on Wednesday (December 3) to see some of their favorite movie stars at the world premiere of Ridley Scott's latest historical epic 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' in London.
Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton and Ben Kingsley walked the carpet and took time to meet and greet fans.
Bale, who plays the lead role of Moses, had been quoted at a Los Angeles press conference as saying that Moses was 'likely schizophrenic' and a 'barbaric' individual, but he chose his words more carefully at the premiere when he was asked about how he prepared to play one of most important figures in the Jewish, Christian and Islamic religions.
"My first stop was 'Life of Brian', Mel Brooks in 'History of the World'. You've got to look at it that way because something with as much gravitas and as much weight as this can quite easily become unintentionally very funny. We had a number of takes that were like that. But then looking at the various portrayals and essentially reading the Torah. If you read the Torah from beginning to end - doesn't sound like the most exciting thing to do in the world. I tell you it is fascinating and what you discover is that this man is one of the most complex figures that I've ever read about in history," said Bale.
The film portrays the Biblical tale of Moses and his attempts to lead the enslaved Israelites away from their Egyptian masters.
After leaving Egypt - where he had grown up as the adopted son of the Pharaoh Seti - Moses is hit on the head by rocks which leads to a vision that makes him to return to Egypt and gain the freedom of the Israelites from the new Pharaoh Ramses, who also happens to be the brother he grew up with.
The film's director, Ridley Scott, and some of the cast were of the view that the film approaches the story of Moses, with the famous plagues of Egypt and parting of the Red Sea, from a secular viewpoint whilst also maintaining a respect for the religious text.
Joel Edgerton, who plays Ramses, said, "It's amazing how on one hand Ridley has managed to kind of pay respect and be respectful of the religious aspects of the story and at the same time it's a movie and at the same time he's kind of on the other hand looking at the world in attempting to find historical answers and accuracy as much as we can given the knowledge we have of the time and the environment and the culture." And the director also addressed how there could be a scientific explanation for Moses' vision of a divine figure.
"So, the journey for him was coming to terms with the person he must be and so the nine years out of Egypt is where he sits on that and ponders on that. And, therefore, I think a lot of it is the action of his own conscience, so that meeting on the mountain at Sinai, when you meet Malach, who's the messenger or a shepherd boy it could be his conscience as well," he said.
Bale and Edgerton were joined at the premiere by their co-stars Ben Kingsley, Golshifteh Farahani and Maria Valverde.
When asked about how the film shows the Israelites escaping from enslavement Kingsley referenced previous movies he had starred in depicting the Holocaust such as 'Schindler's List'.
"For me myself having had the privilege of performing in three Holocaust films I think it's a very timely reminder of the extraordinary struggle of this people to be where they are now who have suffered so much that against the odds they're there and we should nurture them and cherish them and thoroughly understand their history and their place in our great mythology and history." The movie has had a fair share of controversy before its release. There has been criticism for casting white actors in the leading roles, to which the film's director Ridley Scott was quoted in a Variety Magazine as saying, "I can't mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Muhammad so-and-so from such-and-such. I'm just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn't even come up." There was also some interesting news from the premiere for 'Blade Runner' fans as Ridley Scott, who directed the 1982 sci-fi classic, confirmed the rumors that a sequel has been written.
"It's written. It's fantastic. But I don't know that I'm going to be doing it, but it's really good. I mean I worked on it hard for about 18 months. Very good. It's also very relevant. It's not just a silly sequel. It's a relevant sequel. Makes sense," said Scott.