The girl who plays the young Emma Watson in Noah

Emma Watson was 10 years old when production began on the first Harry Potter movie. Now she’s a grown woman, and starring in a film, Noah, that includes scenes of her character when she was a child — and so the filmmakers turned to a girl named Skylar Burke, who turned 10 while the film was in production, to play the young Watson.

With the film due to arrive in theatres just two months from now, Burke was interviewed recently by New Hampshire magazine, and she dropped a few hints about what we might see of her character in the movie — all of which, incidentally, dovetail quite well with what I read in an early draft of the screenplay a few months ago.

Asked if she did any research to prepare for the role of young Ila, who basically ends up becoming one of Noah’s daughters-in-law, Burke replies, “Only a little. We looked at the Bible in the hotel room once while we were in NYC for rehearsal week. We didn’t see anything about my character in what we read though.” That makes sense, since, while the Bible does say that Noah’s sons were married, it doesn’t go into any detail about their wives; it doesn’t even give them any names. (While there are Jewish texts that ascribe names to the wives of Noah and his sons, I’ve mentioned before that the film seems to have borrowed the name Ila from a Hindu flood tradition.)

Burke also says she spent a month in Iceland, and that the “worst part” about being in the film was “my character being injured and having sticky blood on me!” She adds, “Russell Crowe called me his monkey because he carried me for a large part of my scenes.” You can see Crowe carrying Burke in a shot from one of the trailers:

Burke also comments on her working relationship with Watson and director Darren Aronofsky — and that’s about it, for Noah-related content.

Thanks to David Buckna for the link.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).