September 20, 2014
NEW YORK — She began her acting career at age 11. What has sustained Jennifer Connelly is the fact that her job isn’t just skin deep. “It’s like a personal archeological dig each time I find a project and a character I love,” she says. “I always want to dig deeper and explore what makes this person feel.”
The 43-year-old New York native, who began her career in 1984 with the film “Once Upon a Time in America,” now is finding her expression in another historical tale. She plays Naameh, the wife of Russell Crowe’s title character in the religious epic “Noah” (opening Friday).
It’s her second movie about miracles this year.
“I’ve never seen a flying horse in real life, which happens in one of my movies, ‘Winter’s Tale.’ I’ve only been on a movie ark.
“But I have seen things that are miraculous to me,” she says. “Even though this might sound like a horrible cliche, I have three children and they’re each miracles to me.”
Connelly worked with “Noah” director Darren Aronofsky on the harrowing drug-addiction drama “Requiem for a Dream” (2000).
“This movie is like nothing Darren Aronofsky has ever done before,” she says. “It’s an epic in every sense of the word. It’s a very rich telling of this important story.”
Though leaked drafts of the script prompted some outcry about “Noah’s” fidelity to Scripture, Connelly says that she doesn’t understand the controversy.
“It’s true to the spirit of the Bible,” she says. “Most of the controversy was generated by people who hadn’t seen the film yet. There are also so many religious leaders who are really supporting the project.”
She relished the idea of reuniting with Crowe after playing his wife in the 2001 film “A Beautiful Mind” and winning the best supporting actress Oscar.
“I love working with Russell,” says Connelly. “He’s a true professional and a great actor. People say he’s intense, but I can also be intense. I love that he doesn’t take anything for granted. It’s all about doing what’s best for the role.”
Connelly makes her home in New York City with her husband, actor Paul Bettany, and their two children, Stellan, 10, and Agnes, 2- ½. She also has a son Kai, 16, with photographer David Dugan.
She stays out of the spotlight when she’s not working.
“I’m happy to talk about my movies when they come out. Otherwise, I enjoy leading a private life just like anyone else. We’re very normal.”
Having two actors in the family doesn’t matter. “We don’t sit around and talk shop. Our life is about our kids.”
“In my opinion, there is nothing I’ve experienced that’s more powerful and magical than this love,” she says of her family life. “I have a lot of love around me, which makes me really, really lucky.”
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