The biggest star at the splashy New York premiere of “Noah” last Thursday wasn’t Russell Crowe or Jennifer Connelly. That honor belonged to Mrs. Vera Fried, a feisty retired public school teacher who taught “Noah” director Darren Aronofsky in the sixth grade.
When he was in her class, Aronofsky wrote a poem inspired by the Biblical hero that won a United Nations award. When Fried returned the paper she jokingly said, “Dedicate your first book to me kid.”
Cut to decades later and Fried receiving an email from her old student.
“He said, ‘Now I never became a real writer, just a movie maker and film writer but I did do a comic book and dedicated it to you,” she told Rob Shuter of VH-1’s “The Gossip Table. “I expected Archie and Veronica and I get this 12 x 15 Japanese anime book in French because that’s where it was published and it says, ‘Dedicated to Madame Fried, my sixth grade teacher who gave me the desire to write.’”
Aronfsky tracked down his old teacher and invited her to come visit the set and then cast her as a “one-eyed ugly crone.”
Apparently the choice was a long waited for payback.
“Remember you made me dress up as Benedict Arnold in the sixth grade?” Aronofsky told his teacher, “Well now we’re even!”