Image John Harris.
© 20th Century Fox/Haddock Films.
Todos tenemos un plan is the fourth film he has shot in Spanish, but the first one he is shooting in Argentina, speaking the Spanish of his childhood.
Viggo says: "It freed me to be able to act in Spanish, speaking more or less as I normally do. I'm not saying that I speak the same way for Pedro and Agustín. Neither of the two speaks exactly as I do, but I had the measure...I know the accents of Pedro and Agustín; I grew up with those accents. It was something immediate.
Every time I arrive in Argentina I feel so good, I feel at home. The way of speaking, of thinking, the culture, the music, the food, reminds me of my childhood. But staying for months is different from staying for a week or two. Staying so long makes you really return and at the same time, makes you realise that, actually, you can´t go back to the past. That´s a lesson that the character of Agustín also learns in our story.
Language changes you. The accent too, but the language, speaking a Latin language, compared with English or Danish in my case, is different; it changes you. I like the challenge, the transformation. I'm comfortable learning, adapting. When I have to do different accents in English, regional accents of the United States or of other countries, or put an accent on top of an English accent, like Russian, it's not that hard for me. It´s work you have to do and you have to prepare well. In Spanish, I´m less flexible, and I think it´s because it was my first language, or the one that marked my childhood most. I´ve shot in Spain and I had to think much more about the accent; it took me a bit more to get adapted then because I had not lived in that country before. But everything can be learned and be done well with time and patience.
During the process of preparation, I went to Argentina to talk with Ana Piterbarg many times during the last three and a half or four years, I don't know how many years it's been... While she was looking for financing to be able to make this movie, I met with her every time I was in Buenos Aires and we talked about the script, we talked about how to confront the challenge of creating two characters who were distinct but at the same time very much alike. The differences between the two brothers had to be as much physical as a matter of behavior, vocal tone and inflection, but we didn't want to exaggerate the differences; they had to be subtle.
The script Ana wrote is a thriller with overtones that we know from other film noir movies, but it's very original. It came to me by chance, the result of an unexpected encounter with Ana in Buenos Aires' Boedo neighborhood. Afterwards she sent me the script, I read it and thought, 'Well, this is the opportunity I've been looking for. To be able to film a very special and very good story in the country of my childhood, in the language of my childhood.' It was an important challenge for me, creatively.
The scenes where I play both brothers together were technically complicated to make because at some points I had to talk to empty space. We'd film a shot and then, without moving the camera, two or three days later, when I hadn't shaved and had a different 'look' to play the character of the other brother, I had to play the part of the brother I'd been talking to three days before - that is to say me, talking to myself, but talking to empty space. When I got used to doing it, it was fun, and I loved watching how Ana and Lucio came up with technical solutions to film those sequences credibly. Both during that part of the filming as well as in the rest of the shooting, they were very ingenious, with the help of the production people, making the most of the budget we had for the film."