March 31, 2014 2:32 PM EDT

Darren Aronofsky’s controversial interpretation of the story of Noah includes enough unexpected characters and storylines to make any former Sunday school attendee crack open the Bible again. Although the film has sparked some extreme reactions — it’s been banned in multiple countries — it topped the U.S. box office last weekend with estimated ticket sales of $44 million.

Crowe was praised for bringing his A game by The Guardian in his role as Noah, who receives visions of the flood to come and is burdened with two difficult tasks: interpreting the will of the Creator, and mustering the resolve to follow through with what is asked of him. What ensues, of course, is a lot of fighting, followed by a lot of rain — and then some more fighting.

While this Noah doesn’t have a specific, God-given blueprint for constructing the ark (as in the biblical version), he does have massive, lumbering rock creatures (fallen angels, who are called the Watchers) who help him build. Sadly, the Watchers never make an appearance in the behind-the-scenes footage, which shows the cast and crew shooting in Iceland and New York.

Below, watch how the ark from Noah was really made:

Write to Diane Tsai at

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