As Viggo Mortensen and director David Cronenberg plotted the unforgettable bathhouse knife fight in their new crime thriller, "Eastern Promises," Cronenberg told the actor he wanted realism and "body-ness." The director wanted to challenge his audience to really experience the intimacy of such violence.
"Well, it's obvious," Mortensen told him, "I have to play this naked."
Boy does he. And Cronenberg captures every clammy square inch of Mortensen's well-toned flesh as it's pummeled and slashed and slammed into the unforgiving bathhouse tiles by two clothed real-life professional fighters, turning an otherwise excruciating four minutes of film into a quintessential Cronenberg statement.
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