This week David Cronenberg’s long-awaited new film ‘A Dangerous Method’ will premiere in UK cinemas. It stars Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley and Viggo Mortensen.
Throughout his career the Canadian director has worked with some of the most renowned actors in the industry, including Jeremy Irons in ‘Dead Ringers’ and Ralph Fiennes in ‘Spider’. 200% asked Fiennes what it is like working with Cronenberg.
Ralph Fiennes: David is one of the calmest directors with whom I have worked. He is quite unobtrusive as a director and he leaves you to create your own performance. He is also very economic in his direction which I loved. At the beginning of the shoot, it was a bit unnerving, as he was so, seemingly, sort of distant, but I soon realized that he is sharp enough to see that when something isn’t working, he will tell you. I learned that what I was doing, was working for him and at that point I realized this was someone who just wants to film; putting the camera in the place where it is most effective for him, which is a great feeling. It’s a feeling of him trusting you as it can be quite undermining when you feel that you and the director are not quite gelling. With David there was a wonderful sense of acceptance of what you were doing.
Throughout filming ‘Spider’ there was a great simplicity to the process. I offered up a character and there was one or two comments [from Cronenberg] but then he allowed me to breath life into it, which I found remarkable. As an actor you have to be prepared to go with different directors, who have different spirits and different ways of working; so part of the work is learning where you can find the link. This, though, was wonderfully simple – it felt really simple. I would love to work with him again.
Interview conducted by Thierry Somers
Picture: David Cronenberg on the set of ‘A Dangerous Method’