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Home Interviews LFF 2011 5 Dangerous Notions We Discovered at the A Dangerous Method Press Conference
5 Dangerous Notions We Discovered at the A Dangerous Method Press Conference Print E-mail
Written by Selina Pearson   
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 08:34
Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender - A Dangerous Method press conference

Michael Fassbender spanking Keira Knightley? It doesn't get more dangerous than that. But put Viggo Mortensen into the mix and you've got one risky (and, indeed, risqué) threesome. It goes without saying that it takes a truly crazy person to make a film about all of them.

Enter David Cronenberg, the madman who gave us The Fly and eXistenZ, as well as Eastern Promises and A History of Violence, a.k.a. them two films in which Viggo Mortensen takes his clothes off.

But how did it feel to take another man's clothes off instead? And where does Vincent Cassell fit in? And what on earth does the writer of the original play, Christopher Hampton, think of it all?

We hung upside down on the ceiling of the Odeon West End holding a dictaphone above a pool of sharks to bring you the life-threatening answers. Here are five dangerous notions we discovered at the A Dangerous Method LFF press conference:

1. Vincent Cassel made Viggo do it

Viggo Mortensen wasn't particularly enthusiastic about getting involved in Cronenberg's newest project, so what finally convinced him to take on the legendary Sigmund Freud? "I'd get to see Vincent Cassel again," admitted Viggo, who missed him after they worked together on Eastern Promises (a Russian gangster film in which no one was actually Russian).


2. Viggo Mortensen won't shut up

Normally, Viggo's film roles with Cronenberg are pretty stoic. But since this script started life as a play, there's a lot of complex dialogue. "For once he couldn't tell me to shut up all the time, I had to speak!" says Mortensen, before going on to talk for another 30 minutes about not shutting up. 


3. Cronenberg goes around starting fights to prove Freud right

Do Freud's theories that humanity is basically barbaric still hold true? Cronenberg thinks so: "We have evidence of that every day... You have in your head through the media, there are disasters going on everywhere all the time. It seems a miraculous thing that we can be sitting here and not be violent or barbarous."

But press conferences can get pretty dangerous, can't they? The director looks at the rope still suspending us above the shark tank. "It's not over yet, I'm expecting a huge punch up!" (Note: We would pay good money to see David Cronenberg punch a shark.)


4. Michael Fassbender is actually a sex addict

Fassbender did X-Men: First Class between A Dangerous Method and Shame, but which bloke is he closest to? And is he as sex-obsessed as two of the three roles seem to suggest? "When I was doing Shame, I didn't even think about the parallels," claims Fassbender. Screenwriter Christopher Hampton reveals the truth: "His performance in Shame is really just Michael, whereas playing Jung in this was a real performance."


5. Cronenberg has changed psychoanalysis

David Cronenberg's early work is clearly the result of a depraved mind. He's pretty ripe for a trip to the shrink, you suspect, but when asked whether Freud's theories have influenced his work, he replies the opposite: "My horror films have actually influenced psychoanalysis. They show those movies in psychoanalytic sessions and to patients." It could be true, it could be the ravings of a lunatic film-maker. But either way, they don't pay him for it. Cheapskates.


Head this way for our A Dangerous Method review.