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We talk with Viggo Mortensen – Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings – about his new role as Sigmund Freud.

Actor Viggo Mortensen speaks at the Matadero arts centre Madrid Monday Oct. 31, 2011. (AP)
Actor Viggo Mortensen speaks at the Matadero arts centre Madrid Monday Oct. 31, 2011. (AP)

Actor Viggo Mortensen makes a singular impression on screen. As sword-wielding Strider –Aragorn – in Lord of the Rings. As bewitching lover in A Walk on the Moon. As Russian gangster in Eastern Promises. As horseman in Hidalgo. As Sigmund Freud in the new A Dangerous Method.

He’s tough but tender. Dangerous, and something indefinable. Maybe it’s the Danish daddy. The school years in Argentina. The sidelines in poetry and painting. The outsider sensibility. The politics of Kucinich and Cindy Sheehan.

This hour, On Point: a conversation with the singular Viggo Mortensen.
-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Viggo Mortensen, an actor, his latest role is as Dr. Sigmund Freud in the film "A Dangerous Method."

From Tom's Reading List

Los Angeles Times ""A Dangerous Method," the intellectually stimulating look at the formative days of psychoanalysis, presents Viggo Mortensen in a transformative performance as Sigmund Freud, Michael Fassbender as his restrained protégé and rival, Carl Jung, and a bold Keira Knightley as the patient-turned-practitioner who came between them. But it was almost a Julia Roberts movie."

San Francisco Chronicle "As this is a David Cronenberg film, it's probably intentional that the three principals, Jung, Freud and the patient, seem borderline insane. Freud (Viggo Mortensen) is obsessed with sex. Jung (Michael Fassbender) has an extramarital affair with a defenseless patient. (His rich wife buys him a sailboat ... and so he takes his mistress on the boat for trysts.) And what can we say for Keira Knightley, who begins the movie spastic and screaming and then soon announces her plans to become a psychiatrist? She can give her patients crazy lessons."

New York Times Magazine "Mortensen’s combination of cheekbones and limpid-eyed sincerity has tended to inspire a slightly awestruck tone in journalists over the years. Some of their more breathless accounts of his chilled-out, barefoot demeanor have come perilously close to making him sound a bit of a pill: a parody of the soulful gypsy artiste, all flared nostrils and rippling Kant quotations. "

Video: 'A Dangerous Method' Trailer

This video is the official trailer of the new David Cronenberg film, 'A Danerous Method' about doctors Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Viggo Mortensen plays Freud.

Playlist

“The Fellowship” (Theme from Lord of the Rings) Howard Shore
"Gone” Viggo Mortensen & Buckethead
“Reflection” (Theme from A Dangerous Method) Howard Shore

This program aired on January 12, 2012.

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