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David Cronenberg: The detail-obsessed Viggo Mortensen

November 19, 2011 |  1:30 pm

Whether he's playing a small-town man hiding a secret past in "A History of Violence" or the Viennese psychoanalytic pioneer Sigmund Freud in the upcoming "A Dangerous Method," Viggo Mortensen seems to come alive in David Cronenberg movies. The two have what the Canadian auteur describes as "that strange old thing we call chemistry."

What is it that makes the actor so unique? Cronenberg describes Mortensen's preoccupation with detail before he even arrives on set. On "Method," for instance, Mortensen exchanged dozens of emails with Cronenberg about Freud's personal habits, including questions about the type and quality of cigars he smoked.

Check out Cronenberg describing the actor's meticulous work habits as he sized up the actor at The Times' Envelope screening series.


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-- Steven Zeitchik



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