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Actor Viggo Mortensen

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Actor Viggo Mortensen Empty Actor Viggo Mortensen

Post by Admin on Fri May 21, 2010 7:48 pm

As Viggo is a better known star than Michael right now, there will be a lot of interviews with him for this film. Hopefully, Michael won't be overshadowed by his co-stars.

This interview is in Spanish, so I'm going to post the link for the English translation, because when you cut and paste translated articles from google, they mash up the original article with the translation, and it takes a lot of time to clean it up.

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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:52 pm

Viggo Mortensen Interview For David Cronenberg’s ‘A Dangerous Method’

Drawn from true-life events, David Cronenberg’s ‘A Dangerous Method’ chronicles the turbulent relationships between fledgling psychiatrist Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), his mentor Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), the troubled but beautiful young woman who comes between them. Into the mix comes Otto Gross (Vincent Cassell), a debauched patient who is determined to push the boundaries. In this exploration of sensuality, ambition and deceit set the scene for the pivotal moment when Jung, Freud and Sabina come together and split apart, forever changing the face of modern thought. ‘A Dangerous Method’ is set for release November 23rd in the US, and Febuary 10th in the UK. Check out what Viggo Mortensen had to say about the film in a quick interview below.

‘A Dangerous Method’ is your third collaboration with David Cronenberg, what do you think he brings to this story? How is it working with him?

Viggo Mortensen: I think in the hands of another director who was less assured, less knowledgeable, less well-read about the subject matter – about Freud, Jung and Spielrein, I think it would have been a very dull movie. I think what was the best thing that David did, which is something I’ve always experienced with him, he instils confidence by creating a calm, professional and fun atmosphere on the set. He will get you under a spell. he creates the illusion that there’s a lot of time, there’s no pressure, that it’s all going to work out.

What aspects of Sigmund Freud related to you as a person and as an actor?

Viggo Mortensen: In principle, at least the way I read it, the most positive aspect of what Freud had a large hand in pioneering was the idea of listening to people, in a particular way. Why I say positive is because I think it’s one of the most loving things you can do, just to listen to somebody. The idea was to listen to someone confess without judging them, you are of course going to judge them in some way, but the person that is being listening to, you are not being listened to by a family member, or someone who has some sort of emotional stake in what you are telling them, they’re just listening. If you listen first of all, that means you’re showing some interest in what is going on with them, and not just what’s going on with you, or your country, or your interests. It depends how you approach acting, but to me the best acting, the best directing comes from that. You can prepare everything as much as you want, but in the end when you get there, the foundation of good acting is really listening, even if you have a lot of dialogue (laughs). It’s positive, I like that aspect of the story we are telling.

a dangerous method movie poster Viggo Mortensen Interview For David Cronenberg’s ‘A Dangerous Method’

I thought the film really brought to life these people.

Viggo Mortensen: Yeah, Christopher Hampton wrote an excellent script. I think that the movie works because it doesn’t get bogged down in trying to be academic, it is academic, it is well researched – based on the work by Spielrein, Jung and Freud, using the letters largely between them. The academic value is there, but the purpose is to tell an entertaining story in the end, a movie that is fun to watch, is interesting to watch, makes you want to learn more about maybe the period, these people – that’s what I focused on. What I took from the experience of shooting this film, as much as I enjoyed doing the research, in the end it wasn’t about academic differences, it was about personality differences and misunderstandings, things that can happen anywhere, at any time. That’s what was dramatically interesting for me.

This film doesn’t shy away from showing some of the flaws and quirks in Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.

Viggo Mortensen: One of the things I liked a lot about the play and the screenplay is that neither Christopher or David, in executing this story, shooting this story, tried to make up for, or altered the realities of the time period, they didn’t try to make these men less vain, didn’t try to make them more liberated in their thinking towards women. You can’t separate them from their times, but it is remarkable what they were thinking about, what they originated in their time. They are, as we all are, products of their time. Sabina was given some credit by Freud, but he could have given her a lot more credit, and could have understood her better. But I think him being a man at that time, and his ego maybe got in the way of that – because he was capable of understanding her better, he certainly made use of her ideas to some degree, he did give her a footnote – Jung didn’t give her any (laughs). Both of them let their ego get in the ways of things, I like that that wasn’t varnished over, the script didn’t remove the flaws.

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Post by Admin on Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:42 pm

Viggo Mortensen Says He’ll Work With David Cronenberg Again, Possibly On ‘Eastern Promises 2’
Five Things We Learned In Toronto From The ‘A Dangerous Method’ Star

David Cronenberg‘s “A Dangerous Method” has been met with a somewhat mixed reception as it’s done the rounds at Venice, Telluride and Toronto; some admiring the uncompromisingly brainy nature of it, others finding it stiff and mannered (we landed somewhere in between when we saw it on the Lido). But if there’s one thing the critics can agree on, it’s that Viggo Mortensen, in his third film on the trot with the Canadian maverick, gives another brilliant turn as Sigmund Freud. Buried beneath a prosthetic nose and playing older than he’s usually allowed to, he’s easily the highlight of the film, giving a beguiling turn worlds away from the professional killers he played for Cronenberg in “A History of Violence” and “Eastern Promises.”

We caught up with Mortensen in Toronto to talk about the project and found all kinds of insight from arguably the most unconventional, maverick A-list actor around, a polymath as happy dabbling in photography, poetry and painting as he is on the big screen. Below are five highlights from our conversation. You’ll be able to see Mortensen do his psychoanalytical thing in theaters November 23rd.

1. The biggest discovery about Sigmund Freud was how warm and witty he was.
Like most of us, Mortensen came to Freud with certain preconceptions, but swiftly found that they weren’t necessarily true. “When you start to read about him and learn about him,” the actor said, “you learn that at the age that I play him, early fifties, he was very robust and healthy, and described as being magnetic and handsome and personable. Socially engaging, great conversationalist and piercing gaze and engaging conversationalist, who had a melodious strong voice, and was eloquent and humorous, you know?”

2. Freud’s wit is mirrored in “A Dangerous Method” director David Cronenberg, a man seemingly much funnier than his reputation might suggest.
Considering the ultraviolence, perversion and vaginas-in-unusual-places that make up his films, you could be mistaken for thinking that David Cronenberg would be a tortured soul. But after three films together Mortensen has learned that the helmer is, like Freud, a warmer person than you might imagine. “[Freud’s sense of humor is] not unlike David’s sense of humor actually. I sort of had a model there to help me anytime I had any doubts about the approach. David has that wit, and you know I think it’s healthy on a set to have a director to whom nothing really is sacred, but is always done in a general way. Sort of making fun of everything including himself, is very healthy and relaxes people and makes for a good work environment.

The calm, relaxed working environment also helped for a film that could have become a staid period piece. “When he shoots there’s a time constraint, but he’s so well prepared that he makes it seem effortless,” Mortensen says. “This kind of dialogue, this kind of period piece, these kinds of people, these historical personalities, a director could easily get lost living in the forest for the trees and feel like they have to show off all the time to the camera and make for lots of complicated sequences visually. David was so comfortable with the knowledge he had about the period and so well prepared that you realized that the perfect contrast was to shoot it as simply as possible.” Shooting with Cronenberg was such a good experience that Mortensen is sure that the two will continue to work together, possibly even on the promised “Eastern Promises” sequel. When we asked the actor about that film, he responded “I think that’s still a possibility, but something we’ll definitely do [together] I’m sure and I’m looking forward to it already, whatever it is.”

3. Despite having mostly shied away from studio pictures in recent times (including allegedly turning down the role of General Zod in “Man of Steel”), Mortensen isn’t against them in principle.
The actor hasn’t made a film with a major studio since 2008’s “Appaloosa,” and has only made a handful since breaking through with “Lord of the Rings” a decade ago. But that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily averse to them. Mortensen told us “I just look for good stories, generally you don’t find them. It’s unusual, it’s a relief to go see a big studio movie and actually walk out thinking that was a great movie, really thought provoking. It doesn’t usually happen, it’s just not the nature of the beast because so much money’s at stake that it’s understandable they want to fall back on tried and true formulas and often that’s something you see. To find a good story, you’re generally going to find it in independent or lower budget movies. That’s probably why. I wouldn’t mind doing a big budget movie if it had a great story.”

4. There are more than a few parallels between Freud in “A Dangerous Method” and Mortensen’s next role, Old Bull Lee, the fictionalized version of William Burroughs, in Walter Salles’ “On the Road.”
When Mortensen was offered the role in Salles’ long-awaited beat generation adaptation, it, like Freud, initially gave him pause. “If someone else had offered me Freud I might not have taken the plunge, but David, I trusted him, Walter I didn’t know Walter, so I thought really?” But actually, a kinship between the two characters enabled him to find his way into the part. “Both Freud and Burroughs were mentors in a sense. They went to visit Burroughs and he would share his books with them and they loved to pick his brain when he was down in Louisiana. They all came down to have a good time but also because they knew they could ask lots of questions and sort of glean a few pearls of wisdom from this crazy old guy. He seemed like an old guy to them, he wasn’t that old at the time, he was 10, 15 years older. Just like Freud was older then Jung.”

5. Mortensen consulted Cronenberg on the best way to approach playing twins.
The star’s taking another venture into Spanish-language cinema, after being approached by a first-time filmmaker for “Everyone Has a Plan,” set in Argentina. “I had never shot a movie in Argentina and I thought, well, it will probably be like many of the scripts I read that are maybe well intentioned but not that good, and I read it and thought this is an amazing script, a really tight, well-written film noir and I thought sure, let’s try and get it done. It took almost four years to get financing and it’s a great low budget movie.” But it came with its own set of challenges; Mortensen plays twins in the film, one of whom impersonates the other. But who better to go to for advice than Cronenberg, the man behind one of the great twin movies. “I actually called David to ask him about ‘Dead Ringers,’ just from a technical thing, you know in terms of the scenes where you see the two brothers together,” Mortensen said. “It was a great shoot, it was a hard shoot. Winter, outdoors in Argentina, great character, very ambitious for a first time director [Ana Piterbarg], but I think she pulled it off. She has a great future as a director.”

Oliver Lyttelton posted to Actors, Viggo Mortensen, Directors, David Cronenberg, Films, A Dangerous Method, On The Road at 7:06 pm on September 14, 2011

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