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Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

Thoughtful and reflective, Viggo Mortensen is a multi-talented artist: actor, painter, photographer, writer, publisher. Eastern Promises is his second teaming with Canadian director David Cronenberg, following the critical and popular success of The History of Violence, of which he spoke in Beyond the Subtitles: Edition #46. With a documentary-style examination of a prostitution-drugs-extortion racket run by Armin Mueller Stahl's Russian émigré in London, Eastern Promises casts Mortensen as the cartel's heavily tattooed chauffeur, who babysits the alcoholic, closeted son of the boss (Vincent Cassell) while angling for a promotion. Naomi Watts enters this web as an innocent bystander, a midwife who unwittingly delivers a child to a prostitute who has been enslaved, escapes and then dies. For Mortensen, playing Nikolai meant a visit to Russia, diction and speech study as well as meeting several characters with a similar background.


Beyond the Subtitles


Stephen Schaefer hosts candid conversations with actors, filmmakers, producers and movie people near and far. Schaefer has over three decades of writing and talking about movies behind him. He is the author of the Hollywood spoof The Autobiography of Marla Del Marr as told to Stephen Schaefer  and is currently a film critic and entertainment writer for The Boston Herald; and a contributor to USA Today and Entertainment Weekly.