David Cronenberg And Viggo Mortensen Have A Collaboration Of Trust
14 January 2014
Real Style Network
When he visited Toronto's Tiff Bell Lightbox last month to discuss themes found in David Cronenberg's films, Guillermo Del Toro said that the collaboration between David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen was one of the most interesting in the last 10 to 15 years. After seeing the duo appear on stage themselves in the latest edition of In Conversation With, you can quickly see what he means.
David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen very quickly display their passion for making movies. While both are very laid back and enjoy joking with each other and the audience, they quickly become serious when discussing their vision when it comes to making movies. Cronenberg himself doesn't like to rehearse or storyboard the film before shooting, because it takes away the spontaneity and the possibility of happy accidents, which is something Mortensen agrees with. The Lord of the Rings actor said that rigid directing can confuse actors and prevent them from reacting naturally when something unexpected happens. It's this unexpected stuff that both men believe sometimes makes for memorable scenes. None of that however means that the details get lost in the shuffle.
The pair also talked about how they are in continual discussion while making a movie together to try and make the movie more realistic. For instance, while making Eastern Promises, the pair read Russian novels, watched documentaries on Russian criminal tattoos, and paid close attention to accents. While filming A Dangerous Method they found old footage of Sigmund Freud, including photos and audio recordings, so that Viggo could portray the historical figure as accurately as possible. It was a role that initially scared Viggo, but as the character came together in his head so did it on the screen. It's this collaboration that really makes their work stand out. It almost wasn't meant to be however.
Viggo stated that originally he wasn't interested in making A History of Violence, because after reading the script he thought it was too violence and bloody for no good reason. Cronenberg was persistent however, convincing the actor to meet him for breakfast. It was during that meeting that Cronenberg and Viggo really started to connect. Viggo told him of parts he didn't like in the script, and Cronenberg mostly agreed with him. He hadn't been the biggest fan of the script in the first place, and was only doing the movie for money since his previous one, Spider, had been basically done without him getting paid. In the end, the script changed significantly and pieces were cut and more characters pieces were added.
As for why he wanted to work with Viggo in the first place, Cronenberg joked it was because he was cheap and available. In reality however, it was because he'd heard from another director that Viggo had written notes in his script to give the director advice. That fascinated him, because he liked the idea of an actor caring about his work so much that he wanted to do it right.
At this point there is no future collaboration on the horizon for the pair, but with the closeness that was displayed on stage during their In Conversation With, you can tell they are looking to work together again as soon as possible.
Last edited: 22 January 2014 20:43:20
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