Graphic of a two-headed lizard from eXistenZ

Transcript: A Dangerous Method: Costuming

STEPHAN DUPUIS: When we did A Dangerous Method, Viggo Mortensen was brought in to play Dr. Sigmund Freud, which I was thrilled with because I love working with Viggo, too. And David suggested, “Maybe we could do something with his nose.” And I said, “Well, I agree with that,” because Viggo has this small Norwegian nose. And of course, Sigmund Freud being Austrian Jewish had a more prominent, aquiline nose. And a little more here. So I did three tests. I did a little nose tip, I did a bigger one, and then finally I just narrowed it down to a middle nose, which was like here – just this part in here. It was very subtle. And I put eyebrows on Viggo, which just kind of created the character when he arrived a little bit later on during filming. Because Viggo doesn’t have very prominent eyebrows. And brown contact lenses that he got in New York. And then a little addition to his beard here, to make it a little bit more prominent. And that did the trick. That worked out really beautifully, and I’m very proud of that makeup. You know, it’s simple. It’s not as spectacular as maybe The Fly, but I love those character makeups.

DENISE CRONENBERG: Because I love history, it was also fascinating to look into Freud and into Jung and did intensive research and reading and found amazing pictures. Nigel [Egerton] found a lot in London. We went and visited the Freud house in London, which was really moving. And it was a dream come true for me because I love the white dresses.

Somebody said to me, “But it was all white!”

And I said, “But that‘s what they wore.”

This is what they wore. The women wore white, the men wore black. Even navy blue was not really worn. It was very specific, what they wore. High-neck Victorian blouses and what year that changed. We were very careful to make sure that the progression of how the costumes changed from these white Victorian things to the suits and other things that Keira wore later. The research was phenomenal and because it was history, it was really a pretty special project.

I flew to London the night before we did costume fittings, the original ones. And then we started to actually get into what I wanted. Cosprop is a place in London – we don’t have here. That is, it’s a rental house but they also manufacture and make all these wonderful period clothes. The owner was really helpful to me to pick his brain and what I wanted. I used all original lace. Nigel and I found this in London, this couple that has a house just outside of London and they had all the original lace. Like every piece of lace and ribbon and fabric was actually original. The brocade that I used for Freud’s waistcoats were original from that period.

Freud wore exactly the same tie his whole life. It was just a piece that crossed over. And he wore that all the time. We also did his watch exactly like he had. We did the chain exactly the way it was. Viggo Mortensen is so very definite about everything that he wanted to make sure that it was attached to the second button I think, or whatever button it was that we saw Freud had. Everything was – really the attention. Viggo is very much like that and I love working with him. Attention to detail.