The Da Vinci Code actor Alfred Molina has said church protests against the film will only make it more popular.
Molina's character in the film is head of the Opus Dei sect
The British star, who plays Bishop Aringarosa, told BBC Breakfast any controversy surrounding the Hollywood version was "overstated".
"You think that religious leaders would know by now that when you say 'don't see that film', it just makes everyone want to," he said.
The movie adaptation of Dan Brown's best-selling book is released Friday.
"Ultimately, the book is a piece of fiction, as is the movie," Molina said.
"You don't find the book in the religious section or philosophy section. Like all great fiction, the story has points of authenticity enough to keep the audience fascinated.
Hanks plays a Harvard professor in Ron Howard's film
"The film encourages your imagination to follow the story and get involved with it," added the actor, who said he has yet to see the finished movie.
Molina, whose character's name translates as red herring in Italian, said he was "delighted" to land the role after enjoying the novel.
"The film has captured the same spirit of the book with all its codes, wordplay and intrigue," he said.
"It's a great story," added the actor, whose other screen credits include Spider-Man 2 and Chocolat.
The Da Vinci Code, directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou, will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday.