David Cronenberg says he ‘harassed’ Viggo Mortensen into starring in Crimes of the Future

Actor had initially wanted to play a ‘cop’ in the film

Amanda Whiting
Friday 27 May 2022 19:24
Comments

Crimes of the Future trailer

David Cronenberg has said that he had to convince Viggo Mortensen to take on the lead role in his new film, Crimes of the Future.

The 62-year-old actor, who worked with director Cronenberg on three previous films – A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, and A Dangerous Method – was reluctant to star as Saul, a performance artist who has his organs removed by his partner in a dystopian future without physical pain.

In a new interview with Vanity Fair at Cannes Film Festival, where the movie premiered this week, Cronenberg elaborated on the process of pressuring Mortensen into taking the main part.

“I harassed him. I berated him. I phoned him and texted him. Harangued him until he finally agreed to play the lead instead,” explained Cronenberg, after Mortensen initially said he wanted to play the role of a “cop” in the film.

Mortenson, who was also present for the interview, didn’t contradict The Fly director. “I read it and thought this is a great film of our story, I’d like to be sort of the bad guy. The guy who’s running the sting operation,” he said.

Still, the experience of making the film eventually earned a reluctant Mortenson’s nod of approval.

“In the end I liked [it] as an acting exercise because the foundation of good acting really is good reacting,” explained Mortensen. “And this character is reacting to what is happening to his body, to his environment, to what his partner is doing — what they are doing together to his body.”

The film, which stars Kristen Stewart and Lea Seydoux, received a six minute standing ovation at Cannes. However, it also provoked other audience members to walk out.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in