The Dead Don’t Hurt Interview: Viggo Mortensen & Vicky Krieps Talk Western

The Dead Don't Hurt Interview: Viggo Mortensen & Vicky Krieps Talk Western
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ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke to The Dead Don’t Hurt director Viggo Mortensen and star Vicky Krieps about the new Western, which Mortensen also wrote and stars in. The film also features Solly McLeod, Garret Dillahunt, Colin Morgan, Ray McKinnon, W. Earl Brown, Atlas Green, and Danny Huston. The film is now playing exclusively in theaters.

“The Dead Don’t Hurt is a story of star-crossed lovers on the western U.S. frontier in the 1860s. Vivienne Le Coudy (Vicky Krieps) is a fiercely independent woman who embarks on a relationship with Danish immigrant Holger Olsen (Viggo Mortensen). After meeting Olsen in San Francisco, she agrees to travel with him to his home near the quiet town of Elk Flats, Nevada, where they start a life together. The outbreak of the civil war separates them when Olsen makes a fateful decision to fight for the Union,” says the synopsis.

“This leaves Vivienne to fend for herself in a place controlled by corrupt Mayor Rudolph Schiller (Danny Huston) and his unscrupulous business partner, powerful rancher Alfred Jeffries (Garret Dillahunt). Alfred’s violent, wayward son Weston (Solly McLeod) aggressively pursues Vivienne, who is determined to resist his unwanted advances. When Olsen returns from the war, he and Vivienne must confront and make peace with the person each has become. Both a tragic love story and a nuanced depiction of the conflict between revenge and forgiveness, The Dead Don’t Hurt is a portrait of a passionate woman determined to stand up for herself in an unforgiving world dominated by ruthless men.”

Tyler Treese: Viggo, this is the second movie you’ve directed, so what lessons did you learn from Falling that really helped with The Dead Don’t Hurt?

Viggo Mortensen: Well, with Falling, my first one, I tried to put into practice what I’d seen good directors, women and men that I’d worked for before to prepare really well, which I think we did as a team. And to listen to people and to make it clear on the first day before the first shot. A good idea can come from anyone. Don’t hesitate. Don’t tell me tomorrow about this great idea you have about the scene we’re working on today because it’ll be too late. Make it not just another job. Make it something we do together. It’s an original story, and we get one chance to do it. Let’s do it.

I took that, and I did this same approach with The Dead Don’t Hurt. The difference was… Hopefully, you always learn something, but [the lesson] was to trust myself a little bit more after you’ve talked with your crew, your cinematographer, but you have a pretty clear idea of how you wanna do something. If someone disagrees and they say, “Well, no, I think you should do this also, and that,” and then if you really are sure, I’m not gonna use it in the editing room. So I don’t wanna spend the time. [The lesson was] to trust yourself. So I trusted myself a little more.

It doesn’t mean I didn’t listen to people. I still listen, but when I really had an instinct that that was the right way to do it, to make a shot, then I would stick with it. It saved us time and saved me energy. Now acting with Vicky or with anyone else, all bets are off. You never know. You have to be really flexible because that’s where something mysterious can happen, something different. You’re like, “I didn’t expect her to do that,” or “Why not?” You have to be open to that. Everybody’s different that you work with, so it’s important to remain open.

Vicky, you have such a great performance in The Dead Don’t Hurt. Westerns in the past have largely had a male point of view, but this story is very much Vivienne’s just as much and focuses on what she goes through. What did you like most about this role and her really driving the narrative?

Vicky Krieps: I like about her that she’s like me. She’s allowed to be a normal woman. I see myself very much as a normal woman, even if I’m an actress, and you see me as the actress, I never see myself as the actress. I am also struggling with my life and my problems and how I survive in a male surrounding very often. I remember starting as an actress, and I still remember being in a room where there were only mainly men and having clothes that were much too short and much too tight. But it was the costume and feeling uncomfortable about this.

I have many of those memories, and I don’t try to focus on them because I’m always forward-thinking. I want to go forward, and I believe in the good and the optimistic. But I think in that character, you find everything of my own struggle that I had through my own life. Even if I’m not in a Western world, she’s just a normal woman, and she’s very modern. She’s in a way from today. She’s very much like me or my best friends.

Viggo, there’s a moment where you pull Vicky in the cow fertilizer. Is that romantic, disgusting, or romantically disgusting?

Mortensen: Everything. Everything you said [laughs].

Krieps: And funny!

Mortensen: It’s funny. I think it’s human. It makes you, it’s kind of silly, but you, I think you feel like these are real people. Yeah. Because, and they really care about each other and they’re by themselves, but they’re, they enjoy each other’s company. Yeah.

Krieps: And it’s what you said earlier, it’s clumsy and awkward. Sometimes a love story becomes even more real when it’s awkward, you know? Awkward makes it even more romantic or even more sexy,

Mortensen: More honest, yeah.


Thanks to Viggo Mortensen and Vicky Krieps for talking about Shout! Studio‘s The Dead Don’t Hurt.

The post The Dead Don’t Hurt Interview: Viggo Mortensen & Vicky Krieps Talk Western appeared first on ComingSoon.net - Movie Trailers, TV & Streaming News, and More.