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A Conversation About 'Eastern Promises'

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A Conversation About 'Eastern Promises'

A Conversation About 'Eastern Promises'

A Conversation About 'Eastern Promises'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/19274156/19274155" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Viggo Mortensen plays Russian Mob underling in director David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises. Peter Mountain/Focus Features hide caption

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Peter Mountain/Focus Features

Viggo Mortenson, the star of the Russian crime drama Eastern Promises, and David Cronenberg, the film's director, discuss the making of the film.

Mortenson has been nominated for the best actor Oscar for his role as Nikolai, an ambitious underling in a crime syndicate. The role required the actor to speak Russian, Ukranian and Russian-accented English, a task made easier, Mortenson says, by his experiences growing up bilingual in South America.

In one scene, set in a London bathhouse, Mortenson appears nude but for extensive body tattoos, and fights with two knife-wielding assassins. The violence is extreme, but the result is a sequence that Cronenberg hopes puts the viewer in the scene, experiencing the attack.

This story originally air December 21, 2007.

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