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A History of Violence in our magazines

THE MOVIE: A History of Violence

Viggo Mortensen • Maria Bello • Ed Harris • William Hurt
DIRECTOR: David Cronenberg

Edie Stall (Maria Bello) and Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) THE CONCEPT:
Tom Stall (Mortensen) lives a quiet life in Indiana town as the owner of a diner. When he foils a robbery at his restaurant and in self-defense kills the two criminals, his life changes overnight. Hailed as a hero it is not long before a strange and threatening man (Harris) arrives at his diner, believing that Stall is a man who wronged him in the past.

U.S. RELEASE: September 30 2005, Nationwide • Rated: R


“I saw a movie Viggo did called A Walk on the Moon with Diane Lane and that movie really convinced me he could do this role beautifully, because in that he’s sweet, he’s tender, he’s kind, he’s romantic, which is not the normal kind of role that he plays. He also has that wonderful combination that I love in actors, which is that he has that charisma and the screen presence of a leading man, but he has the eccentricity that you expect from a character actor. It’s a lovely combination, which means you can go very far and there’s no star-persona baggage or anything like that.”

“This was a character that David Cronenberg allowed me to play in the most complex way. I always try to give it everything, I’m interested in exploring things until it’s done. Most directors don’t have the patience for that. David is smart enough to realize that no matter how methodical and time consuming it seems to discuss the work, that you’re not going to waste your time because you’re going to get a lot more material than you can use.”

MARIA BELLO (Edie Stall):
“Edie is a lawyer in a small town and is married to Viggo’s character. After he saves people from a violent act, he suddenly becomes a hero and our lives start to change. What my character goes through is confronting her shadow, her dark side, and has to figure out who she is after that. (By the end of the film) she’s thinking, ‘Who am I now?’”

“Certainly in Cannes they wanted to politicize the movie, because European critics are very political, much more so than North American critics. And they wanted this movie to be a critique of America and how violent it is. I get very perverse and contrarian because if somebody says that, then I’ll point out, as I did in Cannes, there’s no nation on Earth that was not founded on violence and colonialism and suppressing the original peoples who were there.”

“I think I couldn’t have played this part before I had a child. I don’t think you understand what love is, what fear is until you have a child of your own. I’ve never loved someone so much and I’ve never been so afraid in my life. The truth is, I would kill someone who tried to hurt him. I would, I have no doubt about it.”

“I think this story is universal. Violence, the struggle against violence, and the consequences of both those things are universally understood and accessible for anybody anywhere in the world.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Feature © 2005 Visual Imagination.
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Film Review, #662, October 2005 cover

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