Viggo on 'A Dangerous Method'

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...what Freud had a large hand in pioneering was the idea of listening to people, in a particular way.... I think it's one of the most loving things you can do, just to listen to somebody - Viggo Mortensen

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Viggo on 'A Dangerous Method'

A Dangerous Method is very different from A History of Violence or Eastern Promises, the movies you made with Cronenberg before...

You mean, there are no exploding heads?

For example.

On the contrary, there are many of them - only in a symbolic way.

Viggo Mortensen: Love Means Listening
by Kerstin Lindemann
Translation by Athelin
Monsters and Critics (Germany)
4 November 2011




"You do not have to be interested in Freud or Jung to enjoy this movie," says Mortensen. "You do not have to care about psychoanalysis. It is basically about three intelligent and ambitious people who want to make their mark."

Hollywood actor Viggo Mortensen talks about playing Freud in new film
By Dan Carrier
Camden New Journal
9 February 2012



"When people say it´s not a Cronenberg film, I say, whose is it then? I was there; he shot it."

"La Ventana" with Viggo and Carme
By - transcribed by Ollie and translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Cadena SER
23 November 2011




There are people who say, "This isn't a Cronenberg movie", but I think it's much along the same lines as his other movies. He forgets about what he's done and approaches every story as if it were the first. It didn't surprise me at all that sooner or later he'd do this movie. His previous movies had things that had a lot to do with [this movie]. The preoccupation with truth, with our fears, life, death, sex... Calling things by their name, without disguise, he's always done that. Getting straight to the point. It's still a Cronenberg movie, one of the best in my opinion.

Viggo Mortensen
El Mundo Webchat With Viggo Mortensen
By - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Mundo
21 November 2011




"It was an education, it was an education in terms of acting, using different tools, speaking a lot more, speaking really well written words. Christopher Hampton's script is like a very well laid out well manicured garden with very exotic blooms, in the shadows of which are really disturbing little creatures and secrets (laughs)."

Viggo Mortensen
LFF 2011: A Dangerous Method Press Conference
24 October 2011




"Apparently, this film is more traditional, more formal. This is only an appearance, if you watch it closely. He's an author. He invites you each time to think further. In my previous film with David, it was more the gesture that mattered for my character (Eastern Promises). Here it's the words. The word "is" the body language."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen in the Shoes of Dr. Freud
By Nicolas Crousse
Le Soir - translated by Dom
4 September 2011




"It's essentially about people who are very intelligent, ambitious to be remembered and make their mark and also may be vulnerable to the point of being paranoid. David doesn't shy away from the academic."

Viggo Mortensen
'A Dangerous Method': David Cronenberg's Mild Manner and Outrageous Movies
By Stephen Galloway
Hollywood Reporter
7 September 2011




"Jung was much more open in regard to experiments. He was influenced, for example, by the planets and the idea of being able to communicate with spirits, whereas Freud was fixated on a form of psychology, the idea that all neuroses are always sexual in origin. I think that Jung had a problem with that; in his opinion, psychology should not be that exclusionary."

Viggo Mortensen
Movieworlds.com
August 2011




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

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.

TIFF ADM Press Conference
Flicks and Bits
10 September 2011




"Psychoanalysis was born as a confession without punishment, without negative consequences. Unlike Jung, Freud didn´t believe that it was a cure, but a way to become aware about our neurosis, to be able to moderate or correct behaviours that end up being harmful for us and those around us. It was a way for desire and self-control to make peace."

Viggo Mortensen
"Freud was a great public relations person"
By Alex Vicente
Público.es - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
4 September 2011




"He was known for saying something at a meeting, presenting an idea that nobody had ever heard of, and he'd say, "Well as all of you know . . ." or "I think all of us in this room would agree that . . ." And then he'd present something weird, and people would feel like they were part of this germ of it, when in actuality it was something he was presenting as revolutionary and new."

Viggo Mortensen
David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen talk about 'A Dangerous Method'
By Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
12 December 2011




"The relationship between the two was infinitely complex, modelled on that of father and son, full of ambition and reciprocal admiration and jealousy. They appreciated and exploited each other. Before Jung, Freud was the uncontested leader. Jung admired him, but challenged him. After reading their correspondence I didn't find them all that different from one another - their conflict was clearly more a question of pride and ego."

Viggo Mortensen
A Most Beautiful Mind
L'Uomo Vogue
September 2011




"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."

Viggo Mortensen
TIFF ADM Press Conference
Flicks and Bits
10 September 2011




"I think one thing you see in the movie is that their intellectual positions weren't so vastly different. It was really a question of pride. They behaved as childishly as the patients they were trying to help."

Viggo at the Venice Film Festival Press Conference
Cronenberg 'cures' cast in Freud-Jung drama
Rssbroadcast.com
2 September 2011




"I don't think the movie's really about the differences between them, I think it's more about how similar they were in some ways and how much affection there was, and that their coming apart was more to do with personality differences, background, upbringing, different ways of looking at the world, at religion - one being rather religious and later in life becoming more and more of a religious minded person, Jung, and Freud being a dyed-in-the-wool atheist, wanting to deal with the here and now."

Viggo Mortensen
On the couch with the former King Of Gondor
By Matt Maytum
Total Film
9 February 2012



"What Freud said was real: We will not necessarily cure people. That cannot be the goal. The goal is to listen and to understand why they do things, why they feel things, why things are as they are and then accept that."

Viggo Mortensen
Movieworlds.com
August 2011




"...film is especially psychoanalytical, perhaps because film and psychotherapy were born at the same time. If you look at the program of [the Venice Film] festival, you'll understand that without Freud, not one of these films could be screened. Take a look at the plots and you'll see that the vast majority have something to do with his way of treating neurosis."

Viggo Mortensen
"Freud was a great public relations person"
By Alex Vicente
Público.es - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
4 September 2011




"I guess in some sense I tend to agree with Freud's idea that everyone is flawed and it's better to - rather than bury our insecurities and our fears and our desires - it's better to acknowledge them.

Not because you're going to eradicate your imperfections but you're going to accept them and find a way to be able to live with them, y'know?"

On the couch with the former King Of Gondor
By Matt Maytum
Total Film
9 February 2012




"Scientific investigation was the most logical way to learn and consider life, and what I admire most was how he kept doing that even though he believed no one could ever get to the very bottom of it all; that no one could ever comprehensively answer the questions he was asking. For Freud, the point was exploration, regardless of not having an end answer to reach. This idea really bothers people, and is why people use blind faith to evade their problems. It takes courage to say: This is why this is like this."

Hollywood actor Viggo Mortensen talks about playing Freud in new film
By Dan Carrier
Camden New Journal
9 February 2012




"In the end it's not an academic exercise, it's not a documentary movie. It's a drama that is interesting, sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's tragic - that doesn't deal with the academic issue so much, that's there, and David Cronenberg knew that, he made us just feel comfortable playing people."

Viggo at the Venice Film Festival Press Conference
Flicks and Bits
4 September 2011




Do you have a favorite Sigmund Freud quote?

"Everywhere I go to, there has been a poet before me."

Viggo Mortensen: Love Means Listening
by Kerstin Lindemann
Translation by Athelin
Monsters and Critics (Germany)
4 November 2011




E.H.: Was it hard to shake off Freud when filming was completed?

V.M.: I never have any desire to. I never think in terms of shaking anything off. We all lose our memories anyway, so I'm happy to remember what I've learned from playing him. I learn something from every character I play, and I like to keep that. I had fun playing Freud, so I'm not in any hurry to shake it off.

Golden Globes: Viggo Mortensen discusses his methods
By Elena Howe
LA Times
15 December 2011


Last edited: 19 July 2012 14:23:48