Neuroscientist-turned-filmmaker Ari Handel talks about making "Noah" and rooming with a big-shot director.
Special To The Jewish Week
Ari Handel, a neuroscientist whose career path ultimately took him to Hollywood, is the co-writer, with director Darren Aronofsky, of “Noah,” which opened last week. (It was the top-grossing film last weekend, with a haul of $44 million.) Handel was the executive producer of “The Wrestler,” “Black Swan,” and “The Fountain,” which he also wrote. Handel and Aronofsky, it turns out, were suitemates at Harvard. In a phone interview, Handel spoke about the challenges in making the film, which he also produced, and the critics who say the film strays too much from the Bible. This is an edited transcript.
When his baby was born, some friends came by with Noah’s ark decorations — animals two-by-two, nice man with fluffy beard, a rounded boat, not too big, seemingly as jolly as Yellow Submarine. And the father, Rabbi Geoffrey Dennis, said thanks, but “I’m thinking, this is a horrible, horrible story!”