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Last Updated: Monday, 15 May 2006, 09:46 GMT 10:46 UK
Da Vinci uproar 'will boost film'
Alfred Molina
Molina's character in the film is head of the Opus Dei sect
The Da Vinci Code actor Alfred Molina has said church protests against the film will only make it more popular.

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.

Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code
Hanks plays a Harvard professor in Ron Howard's film
"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.

"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.

Hanks reacts to Da Vinci critics
12 May 06 |  Entertainment
Da Vinci disclaimer 'not needed'
09 May 06 |  Entertainment
Cardinal urges Da Vinci action
08 May 06 |  Entertainment
Catholics form Da Vinci film team
06 May 06 |  Entertainment
Church acts against Da Vinci film
03 May 06 |  Entertainment

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